Keeping Your Home Comfortable and Affordable

The cost of the energy used to keep our i homes comfortable accounts for a significant portion of a household’s financial resources. Taking some simple steps to cut down on the amount of energy used can help reduce monthly energy bills and free up cash for other needs.

Keeping Cool
Use window fans instead of an air conditioner to cool down the rooms in your home. A window fan uses as little as one-tenth the electricity of an air conditioner. Run the window fans at night after it has cooled down to bring cooler air into the home.

Close drapes and shades on hot, sunny days i to reduce solar heat build-up. Close windows and doors during the hottest parts of the day to keep cool air inside and the hot air outside.

If you do use an air conditioner set the thermostat at 78° or higher. Only cool the rooms you will be spending time in and close the doors to unused rooms. Turn off the air conditioner when you leave home.

Staying Warm
The end of summer is a good time to have your heating system cleaned and inspected to make sure it is working properly. Replace or clean furnace filters when they get dirty or once every month.

Do a quick check of all the places where heat enters a room. Make sure drapes and furniture do not interfere with the flow of heat into the room. Dust on radiators or baseboard units acts as insulation and wastes heat. Dust or vacuum these surfaces frequently. Keep cold air returns and warm air ducts clean also.

If your radiators are near cold walls, a sheet of aluminum foil between the wall and the radiator will reflect heat back into the room that would otherwise be lost.

Contact

Linda Law-Saunders
Family and Consumer Science Educator
lsl64@cornell.edu
(518) 746-2560

Last updated October 3, 2014