Home heating and cooling bills have skyrocketed in the past couple years. Many homes are not using their energy as efficiently as they could. Most homes are overheated during winter and frozen in summer. A portion of the excess heating and cooling energy can be eliminated or used more efficiently by making a couple simple changes.
Heating Your Home in winter
In winter, try turning the thermostat temperature down a degree or two. You will probably not notice a difference in comfort level at all. If you feel chilly, put on a sweater, socks or jogging pants. When baking during cold winter months, you can also utilize the residual heat from your oven by just leaving the door open when you are done. Using a humidifier in winter is a great option because it makes a lower temperature feel more comfortable and also helps you breathe easier. Keep your blinds open during the daylight hours and then close them as soon as the sun sets. This will let the warmth from the sun inside during the day and keep the cold air out during the night.
Cooling Your Home in summer
If you use your oven on a hot summer day while operating the air conditioning at the same time, it is a massive waste of money and energy. Minimize oven usage during the summer months by grilling outside or making cold meals such as salads, sandwiches and fruit bowls. Using your oven more efficiently will not only save money and energy but can also keep you more comfortable when temperatures are extreme. Keep your windows open at night to let the cooler air in and then close them during the day to keep the cool air inside to minimize air conditioning usage.
Efficient Thermostat Usage
Remember to turn the thermostat down in winter or up in summer when leaving for the day or when you go on vacation. There is no need to heat or cool an empty house. Keep in mind that for every degree Fahrenheit the thermostat is turned up or down you can save up to 5% of the energy used to heat or cool your home. That does not sound like much but considering the long, cold mid-west winters and blazing hot summers in the desert – it can add up to some pretty significant savings. Installing a programmable thermostat is a great option as well. It would eliminate the need to manually turn the temperature up or down which would guarantee constant energy savings. They are inexpensive, easy to install and will return the money you spent on it in no time.
Use Your Own Resources
Using your blinds efficiently during any season can also have a drastic effect on your energy usage and expense. Closing vents and doors in unused rooms can also have significant energy saving benefits as well. There are many steps you can take to minimize the energy used to heat and cool your home but the ones that are the most practical use resources you already have.