Whether it’s air conditioning in the summer or heat in the winter, it costs a lot of money to keep comfortable these days. How can you fight back? Review these smart ways to save energy and money without sacrificing your family’s comfort.
• Set temperature limits. Set your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees in the summer. Consider ceiling fans and a whole-house fan instead of air-conditioning―they use a lot less electricity. In the winter, set it no higher than 68 degrees. For every degree lower, you’ll carve about 5 percent off your seasonal bill.
• Harness the power of nature. Plant trees and bushes on the north side of your house to insulate against winter winds and on the south side to enjoy shade in the summer. Use curtains the same way: when it’s cold but sunny out, open the curtains to let the sun warm the room. Keep them closed in the summer to cool rooms from the sun.
• Seal drafts. Use caulk and weather-stripping to prevent air leaks around windows and doors. It’s a small investment that pays for itself many times over.