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11 Easy Ways to Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs

Who doesn't want to feel warm and toasty in the winter or nice and cool in the summertime? Unfortunately, the cost to stay comfy during weather extremes is the largest chunk of your utility bill. Make sure you're getting the most out of your heating and cooling costs by doing these 11 things.

1. Use the sun (or don't)

Make use of the giant heat source that is the sun. During the winter, make sure to open any curtains or blinds so that the sun can make its way into the house. It will act as a free heat source. In the summer, make sure to close up windows to keep the sun and extra heat out.

11 ways to reduce heating and cooling costs

2. Use those ceiling fans

It might seem counterproductive when it's cold, but turning your fan to clockwise rotation (on a low setting) can help push warm air down since heat rises. Be sure to turn the fan back to a counter-clockwise rotation in the summer to help cool off.

3. Check ductwork for leaks or damage

The last thing you want is for your attic or crawl space to be collecting all the heat or cool air that should be inside your home! Make sure to check your ductwork for any areas that are leaking or damaged.

4. Change your air filters

Not only is it important to change your filters once a month for air quality, but it also helps improve costs by lowering energy consumption. Also, be sure to vacuum or dust your air returns to keep consistent airflow as this helps your HVAC regulate temperature properly.

reduce utility costs

5. Get tune ups

Make sure to have a professional check your HVAC system twice a year — in the spring and fall. They will ensure it's functioning properly, perform routine maintenance and alert you to any issues they find. It's better to find a problem early in the season before running your heat/AC for a long period and receiving a surprisingly sky-high utility bill.

6. Block fireplaces

If your fireplace isn't sealed well, a lot of heat and cool air can escape through it. When not in use, close the flue, shut glass doors or install a fireplace cover to significantly help retain your desired temperature.

reduce cooling costs

7. Use exhaust fans sparingly

This may come as a surprise, but exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom can really push heat and cool air out of your home. Use them sparingly as they will cause your system to work harder — resulting in a higher energy bill and expelling all the conditioned air you've been paying for.

8. Keep doors and windows locked

Hopefully this is something you likely already do for safety — but keeping your doors and windows locked will provide a better seal allowing less heat or cool air to escape.

9. Seal leaks

Check around doors, windows, ductwork, pipes, etc. for areas that may be allowing heat or cool air to escape. If there is a significant leak you may even feel a small draft. Depending on the area, simply patch with weather stripping or caulking.

10. Only heat rooms you're using

If you have an extra room that is rarely used turn off the vents in that room so that the heat/cool air can be pushed primarily to the rooms that you use the most.

heating and cooling costs

11. Leave the thermostat alone

While there is a benefit to adjusting your thermostat up or down for long stretches (at night or if you're away from the home all day) constantly changing the setting a few degrees will only result in higher energy output and more cost. Instead, use the settings on your thermostat to allow you to choose a schedule to adjust temperatures based on time of day. It's a great way to control your energy costs.

Surprised at how many ways heat and cool air can escape your home? Following these simple tips can ensure comfort all year long while improving your energy (and cost) efficiency. Here's to staying just the right temp!

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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