Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter without paying extra in utilities isn't impossible and only takes a little bit of preparation and planning.
Warm Summer Months
- Close doors and vents to those rooms that you aren't using on a daily basis. In the summer this will cut down on the amount of rooms you'll need to cool and in the winter, it will reduce the amount of space that you are trying to heat.
- Install a whole house fan. Run this in the evening when it starts to cool down and the whole house fan will push all of the hot air out and will bring large amounts of cool air in, cooling off your entire house in a matter of minutes.
- Leaking air can cause air conditioners to run inefficiently. Inspect your home for leaks around electrical outlets, window and door frames and window mounted air conditioners.
- Be sure to caulk areas where plumbing, ductwork and wiring penetrate your home's exterior to prevent warm air leaking in, or cool air leaking out.
- Setting the thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter can drastically cut back on heating and cooling costs. Also, be sure to turn it off when you leave!
Cold Winter Months
- Cold drafts that seep in under doors can give your thermostat a false reading and can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Try rolling a bath towel up and placing it at the base of a drafty door. Also, install a weatherstrip on exterior doors, including those to garages and porches.
- On a monthly basis, replace or clean furnace filters. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand, causing your energy bill to be higher than necessary.
- During rainy winter months, it is important to use inlet protection solutions to prevent sediment from around your home being washed away and clogging drains on your property. This can cause contamination of the water system and can also cause hazardous flooding around your home.
- Avoid paying too much for heating your water by turning down your water heater to 120 degrees. This will reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%.