With fuel costs rising rapidly around the World, more and more people are contemplating ways to reduce their energy bills. Following are five steps that can result in dramatically lower heating and cooling costs for any household.
1) Learn to Live with It
This means develop the ability to push your comfort level a couple degrees up or down. It is not necessary for a home to be refrigerator cold in hot weather and sauna warm in cold weather. An irony of human psychology is that many people keep their home at a temperature during heat waves that would have them flipping the switch on a heater if it were Winter and at a temperature during cold snaps that would have them turning on the AC if it were Summer. Find a comfortable temperature and strive to keep the home at that temperature all year round.
2) Install Roller Shutters
Sunlight streaming through a window can heat up any object upon which it shines in a home. Having roller shutters closed during hot and sunny parts of the day intercepts this sunlight and prevents the heating effect.
3) Use Energy Efficient Appliances
All large and most small appliances sold today have tags that allow you to compare the energy they use over a given amount of time. As a prime example, a refrigerator that uses a third less power is worth far more than an equally effective but less efficient counterpart. As refrigerators tend to last many years, this savings not only occurs constantly but actually increases proportionally with rising electrical costs.
4) Install Windows with Low Thermal Conductivity
Glass is a pretty good conductor of heat. Because of this, a large portion of heat that is lost from a home or that finds its way into a home does so through windows. Energy efficient windows take advantage of another thermal fact – Air is a very poor conductor of heat. Insulated windows feature two panes of glass with a layer of trapped air between them. This layer of trapped air helps prevent heat from passing through the window and working against any heating or cooling done within the building.
5) Add Insulation to the Home
Elementary school students understand that heat has a tendency to rise while cool air has a tendency to fall. This fact makes ceilings and floors into areas where heating and cooling costs can be wasted. Adding extra insulation to both will slow this process and save money.
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