Is your monthly electricity bill skyrocketing? Are you freezing in the winter and suffering in the summer? Does improving your energy efficiency sound too expensive?
It’s true that some energy efficiency improvements, such as installing new windows, can cost thousands of dollars. But others can help you cut costs while keeping your home as warm or cool as you need.
Read on to learn 5 heating and cooling solutions for an energy-efficient home.
1. Use Energy Efficient Heaters and Air Conditioners
While HVAC systems are more efficient than space heaters, an energy-efficient space heater can help you conserve energy if you only need to heat one room. For instance, you can use a space heater in your bedroom at night, or to heat your home office during the workday. An energy-efficient portable air conditioner can also help you cut costs by cooling a single room.
2. Seal Heating and Cooling Ducts
If you have leaks in your heating ducts, you can lose heat in uninsulated spaces such as attics, crawlspaces, or garages. Leaking ducts might also draw in cold air through the holes, spreading the cold air throughout your house. You can repair small leaks yourself with duct mastic or foil tape, or have a professional do a full inspection and seal any leaks.
3. Seal Your Home
Just as sealing your ducts keeps warm air from leaking out, sealing your home prevents heat escaping. Add weatherstripping to door frames, or apply caulk to cracks and openings such as those around window frames.
You should also check for other ways heated air might escape from your home such as through the fireplace flue, kitchen fans, or light fixtures.
4. Hang Insulated Curtains
In the winter, 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows, while in the summer, 76% of the sunlight that shines on your windows turns into heat. Energy-efficient curtains can help address both of these problems.
In the summer, you can use curtains to help insulate your house from the heat outside and deflect the sunlight. Studies show that draperies with white backs that reflect sunlight back through the windows can reduce the amount of extra heat by one-third.
In cold weather, using insulated curtains can reduce the heat loss from a warm room by 10%. Long, heavy draperies work best, especially when they reach from ceiling to floor and are sealed to the walls. Use two sets of draperies for even more insulation.
5. Maintain HVAC Systems
Constant AC maintenance will keep your system running as efficiently as possible. Change the filter once a month, since a dirty filter makes the machine to work harder. Clean the coils to remove dirt, make sure the refrigerant is at the right level, and clean the blowers, since airflow problems can reduce efficiency by 15%.
If you hire specialists to do your AC tuning, they’ll run through a long checklist. For instance, a specialist might vacuum out rust, check the thermostat operation, and inspect the ductwork, all to keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently.
Save Money With Energy Efficiency
When you insulate your windows, seal air leaks, and use the right equipment, you’ll improve your energy efficiency. Not only will your house stay comfortable, you’ll be saving money, too!
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