Editor’s Note: To view the 240+ different energy conservation tips for the home we have collected, simply access our Un-Official Guide To Home Energy Conservation.
Last week we began writing a series of articles within our Home Energy Conservation series looking at heating savings tips for the home; the first article in that series began with heating conservation tips which will cost the average home owner nothing, that’s right … zero dollars.
Today we look at what the average home owner can reduce both their winter home heating costs and their summer air conditioning costs by undertaking steps which will, again, cost nothing to do. In these turbulent economic times, we really do need maximum effect for our efforts.
And, usually those tips that cost nothing do to are also very simple to do.
Here is the Un-Official Guide to Home Energy Conservation ‘s listing of air heating & cooling energy conservation tips that cost you nothing to do in an attempt to reduce your home’s heating and cooling utility bills:
The first thing you notice in the above list is the word ‘check’. It costs you nothing to personally take a look to see if certain areas in your home’s ‘envelope’ need attending. So check on the outside of hour home’s walls for any possible air leaks (#1) around faucet tops for the garden hose, or cable wiring, and so on. If there is a space between the brick / siding and your faucet or cable lines, these spaces are known as air leaks and can be leaking hot air in the winter / cold air in the summer from your home, causing your furnace or air conditioner to work harder and thus increase your utility bills.
As well, check for any gaps along the window frames for the same reason (#2). We’ll talk tomorrow what to do with these gaps.
Next, close those ceiling vents in your basement (#3) and floor vents in your main and upper floors (#6) to stop heating / cooling areas of the home in the winter / summer that are not being used. Closing the vents will force the heated / cooled air to go through the remaining open vents for areas of the home that are being used.
Along the same lines, place any type of cover on the closed vents (#4). Simply closing most duct vent covers does not prevent all of the heated / cooled air from going past the vent and into the area of the home. What we did was for a few $$$ ($5 for a pair) you can place magnetic vent blockers that stay on metal vent covers, even ones on the basement ceiling. You can’t even really tell that the vent has a vent blocker on it, as shown in the picture below.
For those of you with ceiling fans, remember to change the direction of the fans when the season change (#5). Have the fan direction in the summer so cool air is directed from the floor upwards and to create a breeze in the home which will make it feel cooler and thus necessitate having the air conditioner run as often. In the winter, reverse the direction to push the hot air close to the ceiling downwards.
Next, along with closing vents in unused rooms (#6) also close the doors to unused rooms (#7). Even if you close the heating / cooling vent in a room that is not used for a period of time, the air that is heated / cooled in other parts of the house will make it’s way into that unused room if you leave the door open, thus wasting your efforts to try and make your furnace (in the winter) or air conditioner (in the summer) work less.
And lastly a pair of related tips. In the winter use heavier drapes to reduce the coolness from the windows permeating the room on cloudy days while using the sheers on sunny days in the winter to let in the sun light to help warm the room (#8). Reverse in the summer.
Related to this, open and close your window coverings completely depending on the season (#9) to let in the full sun on sunny days in the winter while keep it out in the summer to prevent excess heat build up causing the air conditioner to work more.
Tomorrow, we look at those energy conservation tips that are cheap to do which will help reduce both your winter heating and summer cooling utility bills.
To continue to the next article in this series, simply select this link to Low Cost Heating & Cooling savings tips.
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