How to Save Your Money on Air Conditioning

September 06, 2008


The typical U.S. family spends close to $1,300 a year on their home’s utility bills. Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. The amount of energy wasted just through poorly insulated windows and doors is about as much energy as we get from the Alaskan pipeline each year.

Electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. By using a few low cost energy efficient ideas, you can reduce your energy bills by 10% to 50%. At the same time, you reduce air pollution.

The key to getting savings is a whole house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole house approach, view your home as an energy system with separate parts.

For example, your heating system is not just a furnace. It is a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts.

You may have an efficient furnace, but if the ducts leak and are un-insulated, and your walls, attic, windows, and doors are un-insulated, your energy bills will remain high. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest in energy efficiency are wisely spent.

Energy saving improvements not only makes your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term money savings. Reduced utility bills, over time, more than make up for the price of energy efficient improvements. In addition, your home will likely have a higher resale value.

These tips shows you how easy it is to reduce your home energy use. They will save you energy and money. In many cases, they will help the environment by reducing pollution and conserving our natural resources.

Money Saving Tips

  1. Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter. I recommend 68 degrees during the day and lower at night.
  2. Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season. If in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  • Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely. In just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.
  • Close an unoccupied room that is isolated from the rest of the house. An unused corner bedroom is a good one to close off. Turn down the thermostat or turn off the heating for that room or zone. However, do not turn the heating off if you heat your house with a heat pump. Closing the vents could harm the heat pump
  • On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke blows in or out from the wall, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weather-stripping
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows that leak air.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
  • Install rubber gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior and interior walls.
  • Look for dirty spots in your attic insulation. They often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edges of the plastic. Or, use a can of spray insulation foam to fill and seal the gaps.
  • When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for warm smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes—24 hours a day!
  • New windows should be double-pane windows with low-e coating on the glass reflect heat back into the room during the winter months.
  • Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with double-pane windows. Storm windows as much as double the R-value of single-pane windows and they can help reduce drafts. They also can stop water condensation, and frost formation.
  • As a less costly and less permanent alternative, you can use a clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Leave the bottom edge of the plastic sheet loose so moisture can get out stopping the window from fogging.
  • Storm windows should have weather-stripping at all movable joints. Repair and weatherize your storm windows, if necessary.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Better yet, make window quilts for your windows.
  • During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to maximize solar heat gain.

  • Deflect cold winter winds by planting evergreen trees and shrubs on the north and west sides of your house.
  • Click here for a free money saving report written by the Energy Boomer titled HOW SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT HEATING BILL

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