Simple Changes for a Green Home -Part 3 Cooling & Heating

Posted by Joseph Berry on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 at 4:08pm.

Cooling

  • Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction In the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
  • Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
  • Change or clean your AC's air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
  • Make saving automatic: Set your thermostat fan switch to "auto" to save energy. Leaving it in the "on" position keeps air running constantly. 
  • Block the sun from overheating your home! Inside, use shades, blinds and drapes. Outside, use awnings, trees and shrubs.
  • Insulate your walls with injected foam insulation to help you save energy by keeping hot outside air from seeping through porous block walls – check with your local building supply company for details.
  • Give your AC tune-up. Running an inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills. Plus, you could qualify for a rebate.
  • Open interior doors so that cooled air flows freely throughout your home.
  • Repair leaky ducts to reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Install attic insulation rated R-30 and sealing any attic leaks to reduce high home cooling costs. You’ll save money each month.
  • Check for household leaks to make sure air isn't escaping through openings such as fireplace dampers, doors and windows.
  • Decorate for a cooler home by hanging light-colored curtains that allow light to enter a room while blocking some of the sun’s rays, and light-colored paint to reflect heat.
  • Close unused air vents. If you have central AC you can close air vent in rooms you're not using so you're not paying to cool them.
  • Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.
  • Use ceiling fans to cool off for less. Ceiling fans use no more electricity than a standard light bulb. However, be sure to turn fans off when you leave — they only cool people, not rooms.
  • Install more ceiling fans. Because the breeze of a fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler, you can raise that thermostat and still stay comfortable.
  • Raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees to save on your cooling costs.
  • Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day.

Heating

  • Cover all bare floors. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
  • Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump's temperature activates the heat strip, which uses tons of energy.
  • Lower your thermostat temperature to the lowest temperature that is comfortable to your family. You may save as much as 3 percent on your energy bill for each degree you lower your thermostat. Reduce your thermostat setting at night and/or when you are away.
  • Close the flue in your fireplace and install glass doors to keep in the warm air.
  • Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for "spot" heating, but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive.
  • Keep your thermostat close to the outside temperature – it’s cheaper to keep your home at 70°F when it’s 50°F outside than when it’s 30°F.
  • Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture.
  • Change the filters in your heating system every month for optimum efficiency.
  • Give your air compressor space to work efficiently. Never stack anything against your HVAC or drape anything over it.
  • Set your thermostat to 60 degrees if going on vacation during the winter months, but don’t turn it off.
  • Heat your home with the sun's help. Leave window shades or blinds open during the daytime. And consider using solar heat to supplement your normal heating source.
  • Lower your thermostat every time you leave the house.

 

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