Heating and cooling account for a significant fraction of total energy usage in the average household. Use these simple tips to lower your costs without feeling uncomfortable.
1. Stop Adjusting the Thermostat
Constantly shifting the thermostat up and down can lead to a lot of energy wastage. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature during times that you are sleeping or out of the house. The rest of the time, leave the thermostat at your desired temperature and trust the system to do its job. Turning a thermostat up high does not make your home heat up any faster — it just leads to the heating system overshooting the ideal temperature, therefore wasting energy.
2. Shut Out or Let in Natural Heat
Sunlight shining through windows can make a big difference to the temperature of your home. In summer, draw curtains or blinds to shut out the sun's heat. In winter, leave them open on sunny days to take advantage of the free heating effect.
3. Seal Up Leaks in Ducts
To ensure your heating or cooling system is not wasting energy, check your ducts regularly for leaks. If you find a small leak, you can repair it using duct tape. Larger leaks might require a call to an HVAC repair service.
4. Make Your Home Airtight
Leaks around doors, windows, and fireplaces can let heated or cooled air escape from your home. Sealing up these gaps with weatherstripping or caulk can make your home much less drafty so it feels more comfortable in both summer and winter.
5. Clean Your HVAC System
A clean heating and cooling system works much more efficiently than one that is clogged up with dirt and debris. Check your filters regularly and change them if they are dirty. Clean the vents where the heated or cooled air blows into your home. If your system uses an outdoor unit, clean it regularly to get rid of fallen leaves and other debris.
6. Consider Updating Your HVAC System
When heating and cooling systems become very old, they often become less efficient. If you have been using the same HVAC system for many years, then it might be time to swap it out for a newer and more efficient model. Look for a system that has a high energy efficiency rating. Be sure to take advice from a trusted HVAC contractor so you can be sure of getting a heating and cooling system that is the right size for your home.