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As the cost of living goes up, more and more people are looking for ways to cut costs. Heating and cooling is often the first thing on the chopping block, because, while you can’t control the cost of energy, you can control how much of it you use. Many people prefer to just put on a sweater in the winter, or turn on a ceiling fan in the summer, rather than pay increased energy costs.
Cutting your heating and cooling costs is easy. You can save a lot of money just by turning your thermostat back several degrees for eight hours a day while you’re out of the house, and when you’re in the house don’t turn it up too high, either. You can keep heat out in the summer, and cold out in the winter, but drawing the shades. Seal up drafts so that air can’t escape from your home. Use your ceiling fans in summer and winter to create air flow, and run your heat-generating appliances at night in the summer to avoid heating up your home.
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Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can save you 15 percent on cooling costs and 10 to 12 percent on heating costs, so it’s definitely worth the few hundred dollars it can take to install. You can set a smart thermostat to keep it warmer or colder in your house while you’re out at work for the day, so you’re not paying for a lot of energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature while you’re not there to enjoy it. For example, in the summer, you could set your smart thermostat to keep your home at 80℉ while you’re at work, and then cool the house to 72℉ right before you come home from work. That can save you a lot of money during the day. And because you’ll be able to connect to a smart thermostat with your phone, you can adjust the temperature remotely if, for example, you need to come home early one day.
Keep the Sun Out
In the winter, it’s fine to let the sun beat through the windows while it’s shining on the house – it can help heat up the interior somewhat. But for the most part, if you’re trying to save on heating and cooling costs, you should keep your shades drawn as much as possible. It keeps heat out in the summer and cold out in the winter. Keeping your shades drawn can also protect your flooring and furniture from UV damage.
Seal Up Drafts
Drafty doors and windows can mean losing a lot of heat in the winter and can let in warm air during the summer. Check around your doors and windows for gaps and cracks. You should also check around where any pipes come into your home.
To check for drafts, light a stick of incense and wave it around the edges of a window or door. The smoke will help you identify areas where air is flowing in or out of your house. You’ll see the smoke sucked in or blown away depending on how the air is flowing. Seal up drafty doors and windows to keep your climate controlled air inside.
Use Your Ceiling Fans Year-Round
A ceiling fan can make a room feel several degrees cooler in the summer, and significantly reduce your dependence on your air conditioning. If you don’t have space for a large ceiling fan, you can buy a small caged ceiling fan for your space. In the winter, reverse the direction of your fan blades so they spin clockwise. This will push warm air back down from the ceiling and help keep it from escaping your house, while also allowing you to feel warmer with less reliance on the thermostat.
Run Heat-Generating Appliances at Night
In the summer, you should run heat-generating appliances, like the dishwasher, oven, and clothes dryer, at night to help keep the inside of your house cool. At night, you can open windows to let the warm air these appliances create dissipate instead of lingering in your home. Letting in cool air at night can also help you keep your home cool with less reliance on air conditioning.
Who isn’t looking to cut heating and cooling costs these days? With a few simple changes, you can cut 10 to 15 percent or more off your heating and cooling expenses. Then you’ll have more money to spend on the things you really enjoy.