What do you spend your energy budget on? Heating and cooling account for almost 50% of energy use in the average American’s home. 
THE LOWDOWN ON HEATING SYSTEMS
Here are four common heating systems:
Boiler: Burns natural gas or propane through a heat exchanger and transfers hot water or steam throughout the home.
Furnace: Burns natural gas or propane through a heat exchanger and distributes hot air throughout the home through ductwork.
Electric Baseboard: Using electric resistance, electricity is converted to heat energy and transferred throughout the home via baseboard units found at the bottom of the wall. Homes heated primarily through electric baseboard are offered referred to as “all-electric” homes.
Heat Pumps: Working like a refrigerator, but in reverse, heat pumps move heat from the outside your home to inside the home. Moving air or water through a heat exchange fluid, the fluid is compressed, which increases the temperature. That warm air or water is then distributed throughout the home. When compared to electric baseboards, heat pumps are more energy-efficient.
THE LOWDOWN ON COOLING SYSTEMS
Here in the cool mountains, we often focus on heating systems more than cooling systems. Our top tip for cooling your home would be to keep the window opens at night and close the windows and lower the insulated shades in the morning. But for those of you who need an energy-powered device, here are three cooling systems typically found in American homes.
Air Conditioning: Air conditioners transfer the hot air from inside your home, to the outside, cooling down the room to a comfortable temperature.
Evaporative Coolers: Evaporative cooler operate using technology based on the basic principles of evaporation you might have learned about in science class. In order to evaporate, water must have heat, which breaks the bonds that hold water molecules together. As liquid water turns into vapor, it removes the heat from the environment, which is why you feel a little chilly in those damp-hot circumstances. Evaporative coolers take this simple concept and turn it into an energy efficient way to cool a home.
Heat Pumps: Not just for heating! Heat pumps allow you to switch to a cooling mode in the summer — and they use roughly half the energy of a typical AC window unit. 
HOW TO PAY FOR YOUR PROJECT
CORE primarily focuses on heating systems, providing rebates for furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. Note that custom rebates are available for projects with large energy savings.
Boiler: CORE rebates: 25% of project cost up to $500
Criteria: Boiler must have a 92% or greater Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
Furnace: CORE rebates: 25% of project cost up to $500
Criteria: Furnace must have a 95% or greater Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
Heating System Maintenance & Tune-up: CORE rebates: 25% of project cost up to $500
• Maintenance and safety tune-up must be performed by a licensed HVAC contractor
• A tune-up should include cleaning, lubrication, checking electrical, checking motors, checking ignition, checking thermostat, checking venting and testing combustion
• ENERGY STAR certified
• Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is greater or equal to 8.5
• Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is greater or equal to 15
• Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is greater or equal to 12.5
• Rebate not available for AC-only systems
Aspen Electric | Holy Cross Energy | Black Hills Energy | Glenwood Springs Electric | Xcel Energy
Can Innovation Save the Climate — or at Least Your Energy Bills? (how heat pumps work)
Beat the Heat without A/C (the lowdown on evaporative coolers)
- Furnace Fail: a Cautionary Tale (why annual furnace tune-ups matter)
- Five Reasons to Tune Your Heating System
Image Source: Energy.gov