14 Tips on Saving Money on Your Heating and Cooling Bills
1. Weather-strip doors and windows and be sure that the door sweeps on the bottom of your doors are in good condition. This is the easiest & most inexpensive thing you can do for big changes in your home’s ability to hold the cool air inside.
2. Replace your regular window screens with solar screening. It cuts glare and drastically reduces the transfer of heat through windows.
3. Hang thermal draperies to insulate your windows in both summer & winter or hang mini-blinds or window shades to block direct sunlight from heating your rooms. (TIP: Close the draperies or shades on sunny windows and change as the sun moves around the house during the day. You will be amazed how much cooler your house will be.)
4. Wrap cooling & heating ductwork with insulating wrap and secure with duct tape wherever possible. This will eliminate cool/hot air from escaping through the ductwork before it gets to your rooms.
5. Change your air filters every 30-60 days. A clean filter allows more air flow and cleaner air for you and your family. This is especially important for those with allergies or indoor pets.
6. Use room or ceiling fans to move the air for added comfort. It’s estimated that using ceiling fans will lower the apparent temperature to your skin by up to 4 degrees. By doing this, you can delay turning on the A/C until later in the day and save money.
7. Do cooking & baking as early as possible in the day. Use exhaust fans over cooking areas to reduce heat build-up and pull steam out of your kitchen as well.
8. Keep all exterior doors shut while your A/C is running. Even today’s multi-pane glass doors allow for heat transfer to some degree.
9. When taking a bath or shower use the exhaust fan to reduce heat and humidity.
10. When replacing appliances, always purchase Energy Star appliances. These appliances must reduce energy consumption by a minimum of 10% to earn the Energy Star rating. Furthermore, there may be tax credits available to you for installing these rated systems, some up to $300! Your electric company may also provide additional rebates.
11. You can save us to 10% on your energy bills by dropping the setting on your hot water temperature setting. A temperature of 120 degrees is very adequate for home uses and will save money. Setting the temperature above 120 degrees puts your children at risk of accidentally scalding themselves, so lower it for safety reasons too!
12. Did you know that your landscaping can also have a dramatic effect on your energy bills? By planting deciduous trees and tall shrubs near your home, you can reduce both heating and cooling bills. The leaves shade in summer while the empty branches allow the sun to warm your home in the winter.
13. Be sure to check with your electric company, fuel oil and propane and natural gas companies to see if they have programs designed to reduce your costs as well. Many electric companies have “time of day” rates. Gas and oil companies have price-lock or contracted pricing programs available. Some even have budget plans in which your total costs for the year are calculated and then divided into twelve monthly payments. This can be very helpful in areas where weather extremes make heating and cooling bills change drastically.
14. Finally, when you are not going to be at home, raise the temperature in the house by 5-8 degrees so the A/C runs fewer times while you’re gone. By turning it completely off on during the day, it will make it harder to bring the temperature back down when you get home. Conversely, if you leave it running to maintain a low temperature, you’ll be wasting energy, money & putting undue stress on your air conditioner.
Written by: Connie Gardner, owner evangelicalatheist.com Traditional Homes with Traditional Values. Resource of tips on homemaking, cooking, home organization, gentle mothering, Attachment parenting, breastfeeding and all issues important to women, check us out!