So many common efficiency tips require you to sacrifice your comfort in order to reduce your energy bills. Turning your thermostat up a few degrees (or down a few degrees in the winter), for instance, will result in lower energy bills, but will also leave you hot (or cold in the winter). If you don't want to give up your comfort, try using these three methods to save on your heating and cooling bills:
Turn your ceiling fan on in the winter.
Usually, the thermostat is located about halfway up the wall, so it measures the temperature in the middle of the room. However, since hot air rises, your warm air may be accumulating near the ceiling, where your thermostat cannot detect it and you cannot enjoy it. Turning on the ceiling fan will force that warm air back down to the middle of the room, so your thermostat will turn on less often and you'll keep feeling warmer. Your furnace won't just keep pumping out heat, only for it to rise to the ceiling where it's not needed. Ceiling fans cost very little to run – less than 2 cents per hour – so you'll almost certainly save money with this strategy.
Close the doors to your upstairs in the summer.
In most homes, during the summer, the upstairs tends to stay warmer than the downstairs. This is because, as described above, hot air rises. With your upstairs extra warm, you may be tempted to punch your thermostat down a few degrees to make the upstairs more comfortable, even though your downstairs is already comfortably cool. But, there's a better way to ensure a cool upstairs. Shut the doors between upstairs and down so the warm air cannot work its way up there, and you'll be able to keep your thermostat set higher without sacrificing comfort.
If there are no doors between your upstairs and downstairs, consider hanging a long curtain or blanket over the doorway or pathway between the two. This will provide some insulation and have virtually the same effect as a door.
Change your air filter more often.
HVAC technicians are usually very adamant about reminding their customers to change their air filters – but so many people forget. A new filter costs only a dollar or two, and it will allow your furnace and air conditioner to operate much more efficiently compared to when it has to push air through a dirty, clogged filter. Change your filter monthly, and you'll notice your energy bills go down.