Spring and autumn climate control can be tricky. Many people find themselves turning on the heat in the morning and then cranking up the AC in the afternoon. While some family members are all too happy to cycle on both heat and cooling on the same day, the bill-payer can quickly become frustrated at this. Not only does this increase the heating and cooling costs, but it also wears out your HVAC system sooner.
So how can you remain comfortable during the transitional months without using your furnace and air conditioning on the same day? Here are five tips to help you economize your climate control during spring and fall. Not only will they reduce your energy usage, but they will also help you live a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
Tip 1 - Head Outside First Thing in the Morning
The best way to avoid turning on the heat in the morning is to quickly acclimate your body temperature to the cooler morning air. Take the family outside and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Enjoy some time in the garden. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Do a little outdoor exercise.
Once you do this, your body will acclimate to the outside temperature. When you head back indoors, you will probably find that you simply don’t need to turn the heat on at all. You will feel quite comfortable with the indoor temperature as it is.
Tip 2 - Do most heat-producing activities early in the day
Many of our household chores naturally produce heat. Baking and roasting in the oven is an obvious one. But the same applies to washing dishes, doing laundry, and even bathing and showering. Completing these heat-producing activities in the morning will add heat to the house when you may want it while avoiding extra heat during the warm afternoons.
Exercising and performing physically active chores early in the day will have a similar effect. Your body will produce its own heat from these activities. This heat will warm your house to some degree. But the biggest effect will be warming you up from the inside. This can be a welcome warmth in the morning. But in the afternoon, it may overheat you, causing you to turn the thermostat on cool when you may not have otherwise.
Tip 3 Open Some Windows in the Morning
As the morning progresses, your cooking and cleaning activities may be heating up your house. Meanwhile, the temperature outside will still be fresh. That’s the perfect time to open some windows. Airing out the house is both good for your energy bill and for your health. Cooped-up homes can have excess chemicals in the air, like formaldehyde, radon, and other harmful gases. They can also create issues with mold and mildew.
By allowing fresh morning air into your home, you can cool your house a few degrees before the heat of the day. Once the temperature outside matches that indoors, it's time to close the windows. The day will probably continue to get warmer outside, perhaps warmer than you want indoors. Inside you can maintain that comfortable temperature all the way through the heat of the day.
Tip 4 Enjoy Relaxing Activities in the Afternoon
By shifting your most vigorous activities to the morning, you can “chill” in the afternoon. Perhaps read a book, watch a video, do a puzzle, or take that well-deserved nap. If rest and relaxation aren't in the hand you were dealt that day, at least you can perform lower energy tasks during the heat of the day.
Doing these lower-energy activities in the afternoon means that you will be burning fewer calories. Your house will not overheat. And you may find that you feel great without the need for air conditioning.
Tip 5 Keep your windows closed at night
Opening the windows at night is great in the summer. But here in Southside VA, the nights may get a little too chilly during the spring and fall. You may find that closing up your house earlier in the day will keep you cozy all night long.
This is especially true if you’ve applied some of the tips in our article on reducing your HVAC energy bill . These tips include sealing leaky doors and windows, improving your home's insulation, and using thermal curtains, among others.
By keeping your windows closed at night you can keep your home warm throughout the night. You will wake up refreshed and ready for another great day.
Enjoy Spring and Autumn
Some of us prefer the cold winters. Others the heat of the summer. But most of us feel that spring and fall are the perfect times of the year. By applying these tips to lower your energy bill during these transitional months, reducing your electric and gas bills will add to the enjoyment. Not only that, but you will feel healthier and fulfilled. You will get your needed exercise at the right time of the day, you'll have the energy to accomplish more throughout the day, and you will sleep soundly at night.
If you enjoyed this article, here are some more articles that you may find helpful:
10 Ways to Save Money on Your Air Conditioning Electric Bill
12 Ways to cut your HVAC heating bill in Virginia
If you ever need any help with your heating and cooling systems here in Southside Virginia, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re happy to be there for you.