Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter is essential to the comfort of your family. Homeowners are always looking for ideas to maintain the comfort of their home while reducing the amount they spend on energy costs each month. Making some simple changes in how you operate your cooling and heating system will help you to save money on your energy bills.
Maintaining an ideal temperature in your home can get expensive, especially during times of extreme weather. Heating and cooling uses more energy and requires more energy dollars than any other system in the home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 43% of the average utility bill goes toward heating and cooling costs.
With rising energy costs, many homeowners are searching for ways to reduce their monthly bills while keeping their home a comfortable place to live. Fortunately, there are some simple things that homeowners can do to reduce their monthly energy bills while keeping their home at a temperature that pleases the entire family.
Maintain heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC). If your system is not working properly, it will not run at peak performance. Regular maintenance will keep your system running efficiently and alert you to any repairs that should be made. A professional technician should be able to diagnose any problems and make any repairs as needed to keep your system functioning properly.
Install a programmable thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10º-15º for eight hours a day. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically lower the temperature of your home in the winter and raise it in the summer during the day while you are out or at night while you sleep. Because these devices allow you to set temperature adjustments automatically, you do not need to worry about making changes manually. Plus, you can set your thermostat to raise or lower the temperature so that when you arrive home or wake up, your home is at an ideal comfort level.
Change air filters. A clean filter maximizes the efficiency of your HVAC system while lowering your energy costs. The air filter should be replaced every 30 days to ensure that your system is working efficiently.
Increase home insulation. Insulation acts as a blanket around your home, keeping the cool air in and the heat out in the summer while doing the opposite in the winter. Preventing your cooled or heated air from escaping the home will help to reduce your energy expenditures.
Clear vents. Make sure that furniture, rugs, or other obstructions are not blocking any of your air vents. Dust and clean them regularly to keep them clear.
Turn off exhaust fans. Bathroom and kitchen fans are designed to pull smoke, steam, and odors from the room. These powerful fans can also pull your heated or cooled air out of your home. Be sure to turn them off no longer than 20 minutes after cooking or bathing.
Install drapes. Closing your drapes at night during the cooler months will help to keep your heated air from escaping out of the window. During the warmer months, keep your drapes closed during the day to keep the sun from filtering through your windows and warming your home.