During the peak of summer, you might do whatever it takes to stay cool. Before you run to turn your thermostat down in the peak of summer, keep in mind the monetary cost to keeping your home’s temperature regulated. Saving money and energy go hand in hand, and you can do both by being strategic about how you cool your home. We’re sharing some helpful tips so you’ll know how to save money and energy during the summer.

Cool Down
Instead of immediately turning to your AC for relief, turn on your ceiling fan to help circulate air. Using fans can help you feel up to 8 degrees cooler without the need to lower your thermostat. Make sure it’s spinning counterclockwise so that air is blowing down on you. Don’t waste energy, so be sure to turn it off when you leave the room.

The hottest time of the day is generally between 4 and 6 p.m. During this period, try reducing the amount of sunlight coming into your home by adjusting your curtains and blinds accordingly. In the evening, consider having your windows open while you sleep. Additionally, check the windows themselves for any air leaks. You can re-caulk or add weather stripping to prevent unwanted airflow to and from your home.

Another sensible way to help keep your energy bill down is to keep the thermostat at a higher temperature when you aren’t home. There’s no use for your house to be cool when there’s no one to enjoy it. When you’re inside, make it a goal to keep the thermostat set at 78°F. The closer your home’s temperature is to outside conditions, the more you will save on your energy. Try keeping the temperature as high possible without sacrificing your comfort. You shouldn’t be sweating in your house, but you don’t need to blast the AC, either. By keeping your thermostat 7°-10° back from its normal setting, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling.

If you don’t already own one, consider switching to a programmable thermostat to have more control over your home’s temperature. This can help you save energy and money in the long run because it’s more precise than traditional thermostats; you can even automate its settings to your family’s schedule!

Air Conditioner
Servicing the air conditioner itself is integral to making your cooling system run optimally. Every few weeks, check on your air conditioner’s filter to see if it needs replacing. When there is an excessive amount of dirt in the filter, it takes more energy to push the air through it. Your HVAC system should also be serviced yearly to ensure it’s working properly. When your AC is running effectively, you’re on your way to saving money.

Off-Peak Hours
Regardless of where you live, there is a peak energy period throughout the day. More people are using energy, and rates are higher during those times. Though the ranges vary by location, season, and utility company, off-peak energy times are typically early morning and evening. If you’re able to, limit using heat generating appliances like the oven, washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher during the slower times.

Resisting the urge to turn down your cooling units might seem counterintuitive at first. Rest assured, you might not even notice the difference in the air temperature, but you’ll be able to see the difference on your energy bill. Understanding what household actions use the most energy and how to minimize your usage will help you keep utility costs down.

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Winter can be such a beautiful time of year, but hard on your wallet. Don’t worry if you can’t afford major improvement projects to make your home more energy efficient. Keep your money in the bank by using these tips to help save on energy costs this winter.

Use blankets in Winter

Bundle up in long sleeves, sweatshirts, warm socks and slippers. Keeping your home even just a few degrees cooler than normal can add up to big savings. Place plenty of big and soft blankets around the house on beds, couches, and arm chairs. Switch out bed sheets to thicker warm ones, such as flannel. No one enjoys walking on cold hardwood, concrete, or tiles floors; area or throw rugs are a great way to eliminate cold surfaces.

If you haven’t yet, invest in a programmable thermostat. To rack up savings, we recommend scheduling so it’s 7-10 degrees cooler when you’re not at home and when sleeping. Most people spend a good portion of the day at work, so don’t heat a house you’re not in. You should also take advantage of natural lighting to help heat your home. Be sure to open curtains during the day to allow the sun to shine through, but remember to close them at night to trap the heat in.

Adjust your fan in the winter

Hot air rises, which isn’t helpful in these cold winter months. Make sure your ceiling fans are adjusted so they run in clockwise, sending that wonderful warm air back down and ensuring the air is properly circulated. Getting tricked into thinking your home is colder than it really is means money out of your pocket.

After using the oven, take advantage of the free heat! Leave the door cracked to let the heat escape into your kitchen and nearby rooms, taking some of the pressure off your furnace.

Check the vents in your home for any furniture or items in the way. Covered vents are unable to properly deliver heat throughout your home. If you don’t use a room often, consider closing the vent in that spaces so the heat can be redirected. You don’t want any heat to go to waste.

Kitchen Exhaust

As helpful as kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are to remove unwanted odors, smoke, and excess moisture, they also get rid of a lot of hot air. If you want to save money, you should use them sparingly during the winter.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to save on heating/energy costs. Work with what you have until you can afford those bigger changes later. All of these common-sense tips should cost a couple dollars and take only minutes to do.

Check out our tips on how to prepare your home for winter for more ways to get your home ready for these long and cold months!