There are steps, large and small, that almost every homeowner can take to improve home energy efficiency and save money.
For homeowner with older air conditioners, the single greatest source of savings can be replacing the old air conditioner with a high efficiency unit. According to Energy Star, a joint program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Department of Energy, replacing a central air conditioning unit that is more than 12 years old can reduce cooling costs by 30%.
Fixing leaks in ductwork can also significantly reduce your energy costs. Studies have shown that 33% of a home’s energy costs are lost to leaky or inefficiently installed duct systems.
Adding insulation or upgrading the currently installed insulation can also reduce your energy consumption.
Other heat or air conditioning energy saving tips include the following:
- Install a programmable thermostat that can be set to fit your schedule. In the summer, lower the temperature during the hours you’re at home and raise the temperature when you’re away. And vice-versa during the winter. Most newer thermostats can be programmed to do this automatically.
- Have your air conditioner or heater professionally inspected to ensure that everything is working properly and efficiently.
- Shade your house, and especially your windows, from direct sunlight with landscaping, drapes, or awnings.
- Make sure leaky windows are weather stripped or caulked.
- In the summer, use portable or ceiling fans to supplement your air conditioning system.