If you live in an older home or apartment with poor insulation, you’ve likely noticed an increase in your heating and cooling expenses. Instead of losing money to drafty windows and doors, make a few changes to your heater and air conditioner habits. Find out how these simple tips can have long-term benefits to your budget and your comfort.
Instead of wasting energy when you are at work or away from the house, adjust the programmable thermostat. Your home will stay warm or cool when you are home and the air conditioner or furnace will not run excessively when you’re away from home. When your systems need to be replaced, purchase energy-efficient units.
Heat and cool only the rooms where you live. Close off the vents to extra bedrooms or an unfinished basement. Seal windows and the door with plastic sheeting if necessary.
Turning on the entire heating or cooling system just to take the chill or stuffiness out of the air wastes energy. Instead, plug in portable fans, window air conditioners or space heaters to heat or cool your bedroom, family room, bathroom or other living space temporarily. Install ceiling fans for greater comfort. Make sure the fan pushes air down in the summer and draws it up in the winter for greater comfort.
Regular inspection of the heating and cooling systems ensures they run more efficiently. At least seasonally, change the filters in the air conditioner and furnace. Check and seal leaks in the ductwork seams. A simple inspection can save you hundreds of dollars each year and reduces energy waste.
Weatherize your home. Apply caulk or weather stripping around doors, windows and other openings like the dryer vent, chimney or pipe entrances. Install extra insulation in the roof or walls. Seal other leaks that allow your heating and cooling energy to escape.
Dress for the weather and save money. Wear lightweight, cotton clothing in the summer. Additionally, drink ice water and use a spray bottle with chilled water from the refrigerator to keep yourself cool. On chilly spring nights or during colder weather, wear socks, multiple layers and a sweater.
Try to limit the use of appliances in the warm summer weather. Your oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer create warm air that causes your cooling system to work harder and waste energy. If you must use these appliances, set them to start early in the morning or late at night when the outdoor temperature is cooler.
Natural resources provide free heating and cooling your home. In the winter, open the blinds and allow the sun to stream into your home for warmth. In the summer, close the blinds to keep your home cool. Plant shade trees near your home for extra temperature control. If you live in a warm climate, paint your home a light color. Cold climates are great for home exteriors that sport darker colors.
By making a few simple changes to your heating and cooling habits, you can save money. Inspect your systems regularly, seal leaks, employ portable fans and stay comfortable while maintaining a stable temperature in your home year round.
Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys cutting back on her heating bills by setting up space heaters in her den, living room and bedroom. Read her work at Eat Breathe Blog.
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