Your heating and cooling system uses 15,000 watts of energy every hour and accounts for up to 50 percent of your whole-home energy costs. While most people cannot go without heat or air conditioning in their homes, there are some surprisingly simple things that you can do to save money on your heating and cooling bills. Here are a few that you can start doing right now.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Constantly changing the temperature on your home’s thermostat will just use more energy, but you can get around this by buying a programmable thermostat. This will automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on settings that you program yourself. You can program your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature when people are home and awake, and lower the temperature when your house is empty or when people are asleep. As long as you keep these temperatures reasonable (between 62 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit), you should notice your energy bills become more manageable.
Rely on Natural Heat Sources
Instead of turning up the heat on a cold day, open some of the curtains and blinds in your home during the day to let some sunlight in. As long as it’s a reasonably sunny day, this will heat your home almost as efficiently as any furnace.
Insulate Your Home
A well-insulated home will keep the heat out during the summer and the cold out during the winter. The best and most efficient way to insulate your home is to have someone install all new insulation in your home’s attic, but if you cannot afford this, simply feel for any drafts in your home and seal them with some caulk or weather stripping. Both caulk and weather stripping are easy to install, and you can find them at any hardware store.
Change Your Air Filter
Your furnace’s air filters should be changed at least once a month if you want your heating system to work efficiently. This will also improve the air quality in your home, especially during the peak heating season. Air filters are inexpensive and usually disposable, so you should always be able to have several filters on hand.
Have Your HVAC System Serviced
Finally, your HVAC system should be inspected and serviced twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. You might not think there is anything wrong with your heating and cooling system, but a thorough inspection might uncover minor problems that are very easy to fix. You might not like the idea of having these repairs made, but it’s a lot easier and cheaper to fix a small problem than a large one.