Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling ultimately determines the comfort of a home. Learn how to troubleshoot heating and cooling and how to fix and maintain HVAC systems.

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There's just something about sitting in front of a fire that soothes the soul. And electric fireplaces make whiling the hours away in front of those flickering flames as simple as flipping a switch.

By Wendy Bowman

As you leave home on a winter morning, you may wonder whether to turn off your heat, turn it down or let it maintain a cozy temperature. Which will save the most energy and money? The answer might surprise you.

By Chris Opfer

Your garage is probably the most inefficient room of your house, but it doesn't have to be that way! Learn more about the top 7 ways to improve the energy efficiency of your garage.

By Eric J. Leech, Planet Green


If your gas water heater keeps going out, or your gas oven won't heat, you may want to learn how to test the thermocouple on the gas valve. But how does a thermocouple work? Read this article to find out!

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You can build a wood-burning stove out of a 55-gallon (208.2-liter) steel barrel plus some odds and ends. Learn how to build a wood-burning stove in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You've purchased some gas logs and are now wondering how to install them. Learn about how to install gas logs in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You just converted your wood fireplace to a gas one, and you don't know how to arrange the logs to get the best results. Learn how to arrange your gas logs from this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors


Freon AC is a colorless gas that absorbs heat and humidity. But it's being phased out in the United States, so what does your AC unit use to keep cool?

By Mitch Ryan

Structural loss of heating and air conditioning can be a major expense for any home or business. Learn about an insulation material called Icynene, and see how it compares to traditional insulation methods.

By Susan Sherwood, Ph.D.

If your air conditioner is causing your energy bills to rise, you might want to consider an alternative — a swamp cooler. That's if you live in a dry environment like the southwestern U.S. So, how do swamp coolers help you beat the heat?

By Chris Landers & Francisco Guzman

Clean furnace filters save energy and money, plain and simple. Routinely changing or cleaning the furnace filters from your home's heating and air conditioning system helps the units run more efficiently and enjoy a longer lifespan.

By Heather Kolich & Austin Henderson


Heat pumps use a small amount of energy to move heat from one place to another. But is one right for your home?

By Laura Cowan & Talon Homer

Off-peak cooling is a new innovation that uses electricity to produce blocks of ice at night when demand is low. But how does the air stay cool enough to provide relief at the hottest time of day?

By Sara Elliott

If you haven't heard of exterior insulation before, chances are you've seen it without knowing it. But what makes it different from interior insulation (besides where it's located)? And what does it have to do with post-World War II Germany?

By Echo Surina

It may seem like one of the more boring aspects of home maintenance, but putting a good roof on your home can save you loads of money down the road. What's the best way to save on energy costs?

By Stephanie Watson


You rely on your chimney to channel smoke up and out of your house. Therefore, when the outside or inside walls of your chimney crack, you could encounter some serious problems.

By Chris Marlowe

As with most utilities around the house, the cost of heating a home is getting more expensive. But an old staple can be used to heat your home -- for less money than more modern heating options.

By Elizabeth Abbess

If you use electricity to heat and cool your home, some of your money probably goes right out the windows when you pay your bill. Insulated curtains help you costs down by keeping heat in -- or out.

By Elizabeth Abbess

The idea of a chimney sweep might conjure up romantic notions of the film, "Mary Poppins." But chimney maintenance is serious business. Keeping your chimney clean is important in preventing chimney fires -- and potential house fires.

By Sarah Siddons


Infrared light isn't visible because it's beyond the spectrum we can see. That's the gist of an infrared heater -- the heat is a product of light that is invisible to our eyes.

By Rosalind Jackson

As the weather gets colder, you might notice a draft entering your house from the windowsills. Placing a hand near the window on a windy night can reveal the source of the draft. Learn how to insulate your windows to save on energy.

By Andrew Aguecheek

Basements are by nature cool and damp. They can also account for significant heat loss from a home, so a good insulation job could end up saving you a lot of money.

By Richard Winter

Central air conditioners require routine maintenance to keep them operating at peak efficiency. It's important to know how a system's main parts function. Learn to troubleshoot a central air conditioner system.

By Fix-It Club


You want to get a broken room air conditioner back up again right away. Fortunately, there are several simple fixes you can do yourself. Find out how to repair your room air conditioner.

By Fix-It Club

Most repairs on an oil furnace are jobs for a professional. However, regular maintenance will keep your oil furnace operating properly for years. Find out how to keep your oil furnace in top shape.

By Fix-It Club