Your home is your castle and your oasis, so it needs to be a pleasant place to spend your time. That means keeping the indoor temperature at a comfortable level.
But if you’re not careful, you could be paying higher utility bills than you have to in order to cool or heat your home.
Here are some tips on cooling or heating your home in a more efficient manner:
- Don’t heat or cool rooms that you aren’t using. Kids away at college? No visitors in the guest room? Study isn’t being used? Then there’s no need for the air in these rooms to be as climate-controlled as in the areas in your home which you are using. So close off doors and vents to unused rooms.
- Make use of shades, blinds, and drapes. They aren’t there only for looks. In the summer, keep them closed to minimize sunlight from heating up rooms; and in the winter, raise or open them to allow the sunshine to filter through the windows and help warm your home.
- Monitor your thermostat. Try this: make the default thermostat setting 68 degrees during the winter and 78 degrees during the summer months. Then heat or cool rooms as necessary using space heaters or fans. It’s also wise to invest in a programmable thermostat, which allows you to enter in different temperature settings when you’re home (and need heating or cooling) and when you’re out or sleeping (when you don’t).
- Use fans — but not too liberally. Box and ceiling fans are great for cooling off your skin and body, but not so much when it comes to lowering the temperature in a space. So save money by turning off these fans when you’re not in the rooms they’re in. And in winter, do not leave ventilation or exhaust fans running, because they can draw warm air out of your home quickly.
- Weatherstrip, seal, and caulk openings. Here’s a suggestion: take a candle or incense stick and light it near your closed windows and doors. If the smoke dances, air is getting in from the other side. Once you identify these gaps, close them with caulk, sealant, or weatherstripping. After all, you don’t want to be heating or cooling the neighborhood!
- Replace old windows. When the time comes to get rid of older windows, invest in an energy-efficient replacement product which is designed to better insulate your home from the elements. Many of these newer windows have glass with lower "e-coatings" to reflect heat back inward during the winter, while others are double- or triple-paned to better keep cold weather out.
- Make sure your attic is insulated. A substantial amount of warm or cool air escapes your home through an uninsulated attic. Do some research to determine the proper R-value of insulation needed and make additions or repairs as needed. You can use fiberglass sheets, spray foam, or blown cellulose to insulate your attic.
- Clean all filters and parts of your heaters and air conditioners. Change or clean the filters on your AC or heater once every month. At least once a year, have these units checked by professionals to make sure they are clean and operating efficiently. Otherwise, you’re wasting money if they aren’t working as well as they could be.
Want to know how your home can become more energy-efficient? Contact the experts at Moonworks and have them conduct a free home energy audit. They’ll tell you exactly what needs to be done to maximize the energy efficiency of your home and keep utility costs low. Call Moonworks today at 1-800-975-6666.