When dust builds up on the registers and vent covers in your home, for example, it becomes "insulation" that blocks the air's path into the room. The harder a system has to work to keep your home comfortable, the more you pay in utility costs.
So as you look ahead, a thorough dusting with special attention to registers and vent covers is a good idea. Other ideas?
- Close drapes to keep out the hot daytime sun, especially on south- and west-facing windows. Sunny windows make air conditioners work 2 to 3 times harder.
- Close fireplace dampers or glass doors. Going up the chimney with a bound may serve as a dramatic exit for Santa, but don't allow your cooled air to use that same escape hatch.
- Position your refrigerator away from sunny windows, hot water heaters, warm air from heating ducts, radiators, stoves and other heat sources. The heat makes cooling harder for your refrigerator.
It's no news that energy costs are a big expense for homeowners. And not surprisingly, heating and cooling account for more than half of this amount. If you'd like to learn more about conserving energy in your home, this info will get you started – Is Your Home at the Center of an Energy-Loss Vortex?