- Set the thermostat as high as comfort will permit.
- Make sure attics are adequately ventilated to relieve heat buildup. If necessary, improve airflow by adding or enlarging vents.
- When building a new house or renovating an old one, choose light-colored roof shingles to reflect more of the sun’s heat.
- During moderate weather, don’t use the air conditioner unnecessarily.
- Draw blinds or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
- Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight.
- In the cooling season, don’t run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary.
- Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from that equipment may cause the air conditioning system to overcool your house.
- Locate the thermostat on an inside wall away from windows and doors.
- Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree over 68°F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
- People generate heat. So lower the thermostat a degree or two when expecting a large group of guests.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. This is the single most important step in conserving energy. Thermal insulation should be specified in terms of thermal resistance (R-values). R-30 (10″) is recommended for ceilings, R-11 (3-1/2) for exterior walls and floors over unheated areas. In colder climates, consider additional insulation.
- Infiltration of humid outside air is your heating and air conditioning system’s worst enemy – it could account for 15 to 30% of air conditioning energy requirements. Find the places where air can sneak into the home and plug them with caulking, weather-stripping or plastic. Also, weather-strip and caulk around all entrance doors and windows.
- Cut heat transfer through your windows by 40 to 50% with double glazing (two panes of glass separated by a sealed air space) and low-e glass.
- Use wood- or metal-frame storm windows even if single-glazed windows are high quality. The extra layer of glass and the layer of still air will cut heat transfer considerably.
- Install storm doors at all entrances to your house.
- Keep all windows and doors closed.
- Remember that by increasing the glass area, you increase the amount of heat added in summer and lost in winter.
- Make sure fireplaces have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use.
- Invest in a humidifier to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won’t be as dry, so you stay comfortable at a lower temperature setting.
Learn More About Plumbing, Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps:
- Optimize Your Air Conditioning and Heating System
- Get the Most from Your AC Air Conditioning Unit
- A Few Tips to Save Money on Plumbing