Little Changes Can Add Up to Big Savings
These days, everyone is scrambling to find ways to save money. With heating and cooling comprising about 60% of your total home energy expenses, it pays to examine ways you can conserve on your heat and air conditioning.
There are actually many small yet important energy conservation methods that can add up to impressive savings. Let’s take a closer look at some of the steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
The key to saving energy and money is improving efficiency! And when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your heating system, one of the best things you can do is schedule an annual heating system tune-up with your equipment service provider.
Tune-ups (sometimes called “system cleanings”) are typically recommended once a year. Not only do they ensure that your heating oil system is running properly, but this preventive maintenance will also ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency. In fact, a tune-up can help reduce heating oil usage by up to 10%!
5 Tips for Saving Money on Heating and Cooling
- Check your air filter on your heating and cooling system on a regular basis. Be sure to change it if you see that it’s necessary to do so. Talk to your service provider if you need assistance in deciding whether you need a new filter. If you do, your technician can also talk you through the steps of replacing the filter.
- Look to your windows. Lock the hot air out and hold the cool air in this summer by sealing windows. You’ll save money in the long run with this step, which you can accomplish with caulk for nonmoving parts and weatherstripping for moveable joints.
During the cold months, keep curtains and shades open in sun-exposed rooms to absorb all that free heat and solar energy during the day, then close them at night to keep it in at night. Do the reverse in the summer by closing curtains and shades during the day to block solar heat. Smart window treatments can help manage solar energy throughout the year.
- If you’re looking for an all-weather, year-round solution, install a smart programmable thermostat. Whether you’re away or just sleeping through the night, one of these devices will help you conserve energy and save on your bills. In fact, a smart programmable thermostat can cut up to 10% from your annual energy usage!
In the spring and summer, the U.S. Energy Department recommends setting your central air conditioning system to 78°F when you’re at home. Program your A/C system to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home each day; return the temperature setting to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.
In the winter, the optimal setting is 68°F when you’re at home. Dial it down toward the 60°F range when you’re asleep or out of the house. The temperatures you ultimately choose will depend on factors like the outdoor temperature and your family’s comfort preferences. Remember, these are just guidelines.
- Clear away any unnecessary items in front of your baseboards or vents. Whether there are pieces of furniture in the way, a too-thick rug, or assorted kids’ shoes and toys on the floor, you’ll want this area to be clear in order to make the most of your home’s energy usage. Finally, for safety’s sake, keep the area around your heating system as clean and clutter-free as possible. Never store anything flammable near your system.
- Install ceiling fans. Ceiling fans work for your home throughout the year. The circulating air helps keep you and your home cool in the summer. In the winter, reversing the direction of the blades will push down the warm air that’s trapped near the ceiling. That helps you use less heating oil while still keeping your home warm.
To learn about how you can positively impact your home’s energy efficiency through upgrades to systems like heating oil boilers and heating oil furnaces, please go here.