Saving money on heating and cooling your home involves both small and little steps. Upgrading to a new, energy-efficient heating or cooling system offers obvious and substantial rewards, but there’s lots more you can do…for your own sake, and that of the common good.
Here are some ideas you can implement today:
- Clean or replace your filters once a month or as needed.
- Use fans during the summer to create a wind chill effect that will make your home more comfortable. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
- Turn off kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing to retain heated air.
- Install a programmable thermostat so you can adjust the temperature according to your schedule.
- Insulate heating ducts in unheated areas such as attics and crawl spaces and keep them in good repair to prevent heat loss of up to 60 percent at the registers.
- Keep in mind that insulation and sealing air leaks will help your energy performance in the summer by keeping the cool air inside and in the winter by keeping the cold air out.
- Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity tha n the same one operating in the sun.
- During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.
- During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Weatherize your home - caulk and weather strip any doors and windows that leak air.
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
- Remember that new windows must be installed correctly to avoid air leaks around the frame.
- Look for a reputable, qualified installer.
- When you're shopping for new windows, look for the National Fenestration Rating Council label; it means the window's performance is certified.
- Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain.
- Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
- Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%.
- To test for air leaks on your own, hold a lit candle next to windows, doors, and electrical outlets on windy days, or next to light fixtures to test for leaks.
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use. A chimney is designed for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes.
We have more green living ideas and solutions up our sleeves…so call us any time for help with your more comfortable and affordable living.