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Use Passive Energy Savers to Cut Costs

Happy Earth Day everyone! Today is an international observance of conservation efforts across the globe. We do this by supporting organizations, volunteering, and making efforts in our daily lives to minimize the materials we use on a daily basis. What might surprise you is just how much reducing the materials we use can decrease your costs each month.

You see, we spend a great deal of energy keeping our air clean and comfortable. Every single device that we use costs energy to keep running. Dehumidifiers to remove the mugginess, air conditioners to mitigate the heat, and furnaces to keep us warm in the winter are all using a great deal of electricity and fuel. The good news is that a bit of careful planning for your home can reduce how much these systems need to work. The less often you need them, the less you’ll spend each month on fuel and electricity. Passive conservation systems are the way to go, since they save you money and help conserve our resources at the same time!

Plant a Tree

Yes, it’s the most cliché way to observe Earth Day, but it’s a good one. Plants are beautiful, they clean our air (well, except during the spring when they add to the overall pollen count and aggravate our allergies), and they give much needed shade during the hot summer months of the year. This shade is exactly what we need for our homes.

Houses that face East-West run into issues with being exceptionally hot during the summer. The summer sun shines in through windows and heats up the attic, overworking the air conditioner throughout the summer. Shade trees, bushes, and even creeper vines will shade your windows (and your roof in some cases) from the harsh rays of the sun. During the winter, as these plants go into hibernation, the shade disappears, allowing sunlight to keep your home warm throughout the season.

Solar Screens and Curtains

Of course, keeping the heat where you want it is the best way to promote energy efficiency. Solar screens on the outside of your windows, thermal films, and curtains are all great ways to control heat exchange in your home.

Solar Screens – Some home owners’ associations do not allow solar screens because of the darker appearance they give to your windows. While screens do make your windows appear rather dark, they still allow light to filter into your home, so you won’t need to worry about a lack of light inside. They also work better than thermal coatings on the windows. The screens unroll outside the window, trapping heat and blocking or reflecting light away from the window itself. The excess heat never even reaches the window.

Window Coatings – Thermal films reflect and absorb a lot of heat, but they trap that heat in the window itself. They’re cheap, do not change the outside aesthetic of your home, and keep the same level of brilliance in your halls as an uncovered window. But they aren’t as efficient as a solar screen because the heat is trapped in the window itself, and that will radiate into the room.

Curtains – the oldest method of keeping the heat out (or in) your home. Curtains, drapes, and shades are all effective means of thermal regulation when used properly. Your windows are the worst place for heat to leak between your home and the outdoors. Windows allow heat from the sun to enter during the day, and allow heat from the home to leak out at night. Heavy curtains will block all light and catch much of the radiated heat within their folds. Light shades help to filter out some of the heat while still allowing light into the room. During the summer, using heavy curtains or shades during the hottest part of the day will keep heat out. Opening those curtains at night will allow some of the heat to radiate out into the night. Reversing this process during the winter will help to trap and keep heat in your home.

Home Maintenance

While it’s not always feasible to remodel your home for elements like double-paned windows or a house that faces away from the sun during the hottest parts of the day, there are standard practices you can have performed that will improve energy efficiency in your home. Annual maintenance on your HVAC and furnace will improve their operation, replacing filters improves performance (and removes heat-trapping dust from the air), regulating humidity, and keeping ventilation ducts properly sealed and maintained are all ways to reduce your energy footprint each month.

These are all simple little things you can do, but they all have a major impact on our lives here on Earth. When everyone reduces the amount of energy they use on a daily basis (through energy efficient lighting or better thermal regulation), the overall drop in energy usage is phenomenal. So take time today to see what you can do to improve the energy-efficiency of your home this year!


Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both Value and Customer Service! Call us to maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in the Champaign, IL area: (217) 866-1596.

A live call center and friendly technicians are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with all your heating and cooling questions.

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