For the majority of homeowners the cost of heating and cooling adds up to about fifty percent or more of the household energy budget.
While investing into high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR rated heating and cooling equipment works to minimize expense, there are many opportunities to lessen demands on the equipment.
Insulating walls, ceilings and the attic helps to tighten the thermal envelope. Thermal pane windows that are properly caulked reduce energy waste. Ceiling fans are another opportunity to lower heating and cooling costs. Ceiling fans are a relatively inexpensive home improvement. With a nearly endless selection of styles, sizes and features, there is the ideal model to suit every preference. While ceiling fans are attractive and can offer a source of light, they also enhance comfort. By moving air, the fan makes the air feel cooler than the actual temperature. This allows a higher thermostat setting in the summer. The closer the temperature setting to the outdoor temperature, the less often the air conditioner is required to run. What many homeowners don’t realize is that a ceiling fan can also provide benefits in the winter. Because warm air naturally rises, the highest temperature in a room is typically up near the ceiling. With cooler temperatures near the floor, it’s tempting to adjust the thermostat and increase demands on the furnace. The fan should be set to spin counterclockwise in the summer to push the cool air downward. In the winter, the fan should be adjusted to spin clockwise and run at a low speed. This pulls the cool air upward, causing a gentle draft that pushes warm air down toward the floor.