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We’ve already hit staying cool and cutting energy costs in summer, but there’s more you can do to reduce your heating and cooling costs all year round. Taking a few steps ahead of summer and winter can help you reduce utility costs and keep your home more comfortable. Check out our top five tips to save on heating and cooling costs this coming year!
Use Ceiling Fans
Using your home’s ceiling fans (Amazon) is a great way to reduce energy costs and keep your home cool. Turning on ceiling fans during summer creates a nice breeze that can make your home feel a few degrees cooler. Keep in mind that the newer the fans, the less energy they use.
Tip: Run your ceiling fans counter clockwise in summer and clockwise in winter.
Ceiling fans can help keep your home warmer in winter, too. Turning the fans to clockwise will pull cool air toward the ceiling, creating an updraft. As a result, the warm air that naturally accumulates higher up will be forced down against the walls. Best of all, there won’t be a wind chill effect!
Add Attic Insulation
Adding insulation to the attic isn’t an insanely difficult task, and it can pay off immensely. In fact, most homeowners can do it for a fraction of what contractors and companies charge.
To get started, determine how much and what type of insulation you need. Older homes may need more insulation than newer homes. The climate where you live can make a difference as well.
Fun fact: Energy STAR has a great guide on adding attic insulation!
Once you’ve got the numbers and type of insulation you need, head down to a local hardware store. Most hardware stores allow customers to rent blowers. Don’t skimp on a blower. Not only will it make adding attic insulation easier, but it will save you hours upon hours of time as well!
With blower and attic insulation at the ready, grab a family member, friend, or neighbor. Have them feed insulation into the blower while you handle things on the other end in the attic.
This should come as no surprise to people who grew up in homes where touching the thermostat was the equivalent to attempted murder. Dressing appropriately can allow you to set the thermostat higher or lower (depending on the season) without being uncomfortable.
For example, wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt indoors during winter can allow you to remain comfortable with a thermostat set in the 60-degree range.
Shorts and a short sleeve shirt can help ensure you’re comfortable in summer, even with a thermostat set in the high 70- or low 80-degree ranges.
Open the Oven Door
Just finished baking a batch of cookies? Make use of the oven’s extra heat after you’ve taken the cookies out to cool! The oven is still hot after you’re done cooking and have turned it off. Leaving the oven door open is a great way to utilize the extra heat to warm your home.
Safety Tip: Don’t use your oven to actively heat your home. It’s often less effective and more expensive than running the furnace.
Put Up Blackout Curtains
Glass isn’t great at keeping your home at your preferred temperature. On top of that, window seals can wear down over time and cause drafts. Keeping the blinds closed is one option. Curtains are the next step to a more comfortable home and reducing energy bills.
Putting up blackout curtains is a great way to keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in thermal curtains (Amazon). While blackout curtains focus on blocking unwanted light from streaming in, they’ll help reduce your home’s energy consumption too.
Save On Heating and Cooling Costs
Spending some money now can result in higher savings on energy bills for years to come. It doesn’t take long for an affordable set of thermal curtains, for example, to reduce your utility bills. Add in attic insulation and utilizing your home’s ceiling fans, and you’ll start to see major changes in your energy costs!
Got any tips on reducing your home’s energy usage? Have you successfully reduced your utility bills? Let us know! Leave a comment or follow us on Facebook!