The cost of heating and cooling a home goes up every year. Follow these four strategies to make your home more efficient and lower your bills.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turning your thermostat down by 10 degrees per day can lower your home’s heating and cooling bill by up to 10 percent. By turning down the temperature while you’re at work, you will knock several dollars off your monthly bill.
That’s easier said than done, though, when you have a manual thermostat. Not only do you have to remember to change the temp before going to work, but you will come home to a chilly house during the fall and winter months.
Installing a programmable thermostat makes it easier and more comfortable to save money. The latest thermostats will even let you track energy use and adjust the temperature from your smartphone.
Have Your Ducts Checked for Leaks
You probably already know that your home can leak hot and cold air through windows, doors, and the roof. A lot of homeowners, however, don’t realize that they can also lose energy through leaks in their heating and cooling ducts.
Luckily, you can look for several signs that indicate leaky ducts. Some things to look for include:
- A lot of dust in your home that seems to build quickly
- Heating and cooling bills that are higher than your neighbors’
- Some rooms always feel too hot or cold
If you spot any of these signs, you should get your ducts professionally sealed by a company like Climate Control. There are some DIY steps that you can take, but they aren’t nearly as effective as the services you get from a professional.
Don’t Block Your Heat Registers
Putting furniture on top of a heat register severely restricts the amount of warm air that enters the room. Since the room doesn’t get adequate heat, you may find yourself turning up the thermostat just to avoid a chill. It’s better to place items in places where they won’t interfere with your vents.
If you have a small room that forces you to put furniture over your heat registers, try using a vent deflector. These products are usually about three feet long, so you can redirect warm air out from under your furniture into the room where you really need it.
Plant Shade Trees Around Your Home
Image via Flickr by roger 4336
Strategically planting shade trees around your home can lower your air conditioning costs by up to 35 percent during summer. For the best results, plant deciduous trees on the east, west, and northwest sides of your home. This will block the sun’s warmth during most of the day.
It also helps to plant a shade tree near your air conditioning unit. By keeping the unit’s temperature lower, you can help it work more efficiently.
The advantages aren’t just limited to summer. Your trees will also block the wind during the winter months. That will help your home stay warm without using more electricity or gas.
No matter how much you spend on heating and cooling now, you can find ways to spend less. Start with these four suggestions to lower your utility bills.