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Cost-Saving Heating and Cooling Tips for Your Home

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Utility costs are continually on the rise. With some planning and home improvements, homeowners and renters can lower their utility bills. Following are suggestions for spending less money heating or cooling your house or apartment.

Make sure your heater and air conditioner are in good working condition and are serviced at least once a year. Replace old inefficient systems with more energy-efficient ones. When possible, replace old windows with newer double-glazed ones and be certain the house is well insulated. Keep all vents and registers free of obstruction so that all warm and cool air circulates easily and efficiently. If you have a fireplace, keep dampers open to let warm air escape up the chimney.

Keep The Cool
  • Turn up the temperature on the air conditioner.
  • Change air conditioning filters often.
  • Check that weather stripping and caulking are not leaking.
  • Paint the exterior of your home a light color to reflect heat and keep the cool.
  • Install light-colored roof shingles of metal or tile to reflect light and maintain cool temperatures.
  • Install white or other light-colored window coverings to reflect heat and light away from your home.
  • Put up outside awnings and close inside coverings on south- and west-facing windows.
  • Plant native or drought-resistant trees on the west and south side of your home to provide shade both inside and outside your home.

Take The Heat
  • Turn the furnace thermostat down at night or when away from home.
  • Change furnace filters once a month.
  • Plug up air leaks that cause heat to be lost.
  • Open window coverings during the heat of the day on west- and south-facing windows to maximize heat gain

Whether you use some or all of these ideas, the savings will be at your doorstep.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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