How To Reduce Home Heating Cooling Costs
1. Replace/install weather stripping around doors and windows
Seven to ten percent of a heat loss occurs due to leaks around doors and windows and these leaks make us turn up the furnace to keep our home warm.
Weather stripping keeps warm air indoors and prevents the cold air outside from seeping in, thus reducing your energy bill.
If you already have weather stripping, determine whether they areit is still efficient. It doesn’t last forever. Replacing it is easy and all you have to do is pull off the old and tack on the new. I’ve put new weather stripping around our doors before. If I can do it, you can do it, I promise!
2. Prevent air from escaping up the chimney
Having a fireplace is a great way to warm your home. However, it can also be the reason why your heating costs are increasing.
When you are not using your fireplace, the warm air escapes through the chimney and even the chimney flue can’t prevent this. Therefore, you should implement an easy solution like blocking the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon (easily purchased from Amazon). They are a good investment as they’ll save you around $100 per year, and can last for a long period of time.
Simply blow up the balloon and stick it in the chimney when you are not using the fireplace. In case you forget to take it out before starting a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate and won’t cause any smoke.
3. Use Window treatments
This one made a HUGE difference in my own home. We moved into our house in the month of May. I put up thin curtains but the front of our house faces the HOT, afternoon sun. On 90+ degree days with the sun beaming straight in the windows, it heated up in our house FAST. Our first month in our home, our power bill was over $250. I knew we had to do something.
I now have blackout curtains on the front windows. Now we have a much more normal power bill of around $140 – even in the hot summer!
Proper window treatments work for keep hot out in the summer and cold out in the winter. We have blinds on all our windows too just as an extra layer of blockage.
4. Control your thermostat
You can reduce your energy bill by 3% for every degree you lower (in the winter) or raise (in the summer) the thermostat. So for example, if you keep your home at 80 degrees and lower it to 75 degrees, you’ll save 15% on your utility bill.
The easiest way to do this is to adjust the thermostat at bedtime. In the winter, add extra blankets to the bed and lower your thermostat so that the heat isn’t running as much all night (for example, during an average winter I might have the heat set at 67-68 degrees during the day, but lower it to 65 at night.) In the summer, we utilize light covers and fans in our rooms to tolerate a higher thermostat setting during the night. It’s cooler during the night anyway. So while the air might be set on 73 degrees on a summer day, at night I change it to 75 degrees.
5. Use a portable heater or A/C unit
Do you spend most of your time in mainly one part of the house during the day? Is only one bedroom used at night? In these instances, it’s a waste of money to heat or cool the whole house.
If you’re the only person home all day and you stay mainly in your home office, heat it with a space heater or cool it with a portable unit. Same goes for a household that uses only one bedroom – use a space heater at night. Don’t waste money heating the whole house if the whole house isn’t being used.
Locking windows and doors presses them more tightly against the weather stripping. Always make sure to lock your windows and doors to lower your electric bills!
7. Tune up!
Air conditioning units and furnaces require regular maintenance. A professional can quickly diagnose any inefficiencies and prevent you from wasting money on electricity bills. And often stop a problem from costing you even more money!
8. Replace your air filter in your unit monthly.
Remembering to change that air filter monthly keeps your AC/heating unit running smoothly. And it improves the air quality in your home. Have trouble remember? Yeah, I did too until I discovered Second Nature. Second Nature is the one subscription service every homeowner needs. You sign up with them once, and then they send you the air filter you need every month. When it arrives on your doorstep, change the filter! It’s that easy! Click here to give it a try (you can get your first filter free!) Plus, once you sign up and love it, you can refer your friends. They get $20 off their first order and you get $10 for referring them! You’ll be saving money all around!
9. Place the thermostat on the right wall
Where you place your thermostat plays a key role in how well your air conditioning works. For example, if you place it on a wall next to a hot window, your AC will kick on more often than it needs. If it’s in an area of the house no one stays in, it will keep THAT area comfortable, but potentially, not the area of the house you spend the most time in.
Instead, you should put the thermostat on the interior wall of the room your family members use the most, like the living room.
10. Close the blinds
Close your window blinds and keep out the sun during summer days when it’s really hot. Closed blinds will help insulate the window, reduce heat gain by up to 45% and stop the cold air from escaping.
11. Use a fan in the summer (and winter!)
You can make a room feel 10 degrees cooler using a ceiling fan – and with far less energy than the A/C.
Also, in the winter, reverse the blades of your fan (there’s a switch on the fan that does this) and it helps circulate the heat through your house making your house warmer with less energy. (Personal note of experience, DUST the fan blades BEFORE reversing!)
Even tabletop or floor stand fans can make a huge difference in room temperature. So if you don’t have ceiling fans installed (and you don’t want to attempt it yourself) a simple oscillating fan can keep you cooler!