Modern times have made us dependent on many conveniences, including central heat and air. Although we all want to stay cool in summer and warm in winter, running a central HVAC unit is expensive. There are ways to improve the efficiency of an HVAC system, which reduces the cost. However, your energy bills will still take a good chunk out of your paycheck.
The best way to save money on heating and cooling is to use alternative systems like the following:
Use natural resources for heat
Thanks to central heat, electric bills can be higher than grocery bills for many families. Instead of relying on a central heating system that uses electricity, use natural resources that won’t cost so much money. For instance, an ethanol fireplace is an efficient way to heat your home without using electricity and you don’t even need a vent. Other fireplaces and wood stoves run on natural gas and propane, which costs significantly less than electricity.
The cheapest form of natural heat comes from good ole split wood in a wood stove. When you have a gas fireplace, you can install a fireplace fan to push the heat into your home. Fans and blowers are more efficient than using a damper to direct the heat into your home because you won’t get all the smoke.
Check out the fireplace blowers and fans available from eFireplaceStore to see what’s compatible with your fireplace. You can get a fan for less than the cost of your utility bill.
Buy or build a house surrounded by trees
You’ve probably heard that trees are a wonderful way to shade your home and keep it cool in the summer. All you need to do is plant certain types of trees around your home and you won’t need to use your air conditioner as much. This sounds great, but you’ll have to wait for those trees to mature to get the full benefits. While you’re waiting for your trees to grow, you’ll be shelling out big bucks to the electric company.
Instead of buying a house and landscaping around the perimeter, buy a house already surrounded by trees. Or, if you’re planning on building a new construction, find a piece of property that is filled with trees and strategize which area to clear to build your house in the middle of mature trees.
If you buy a home in a heavily wooded area and you orient your home to prevent the midday sun from coming through your windows, you won’t need to run your air conditioner often. In fact, if you plan your home’s construction correctly, you can shield your home from the sun so that when it’s 80 degrees outside it’s 70 degrees in your home.
Build a DIY air conditioner
If you haven’t seen a DIY air conditioner, you’re going to love this kind of cooling system. You can make an air conditioner to cool down a small room using nothing more than ice, a fan, a short section of PVC pipe, and a cooler.
Check out this video tutorial on YouTube for instructions to make an air conditioner that blows 42F air for up to 10 hours, depending on the size of your ice block. The air conditioner can be powered by solar, electricity, or the 12V DC outlet in your car.
This construction method using several more components will pump out even colder air at 32F.
If you don’t have the tools necessary to make one by yourself, ask someone else to make it for you. The materials are cheap, so it should be reasonable to pay for labor. If you have large spaces you need to cool down, you might need to make two units. However, even with two DIY air conditioners plugged into the wall, you’ll still save money because the only electricity you’ll use will be to power the fans.
Convenience is expensive
Having a central heating and cooling system is convenient, but costly. Modern conveniences have made life easier and more comfortable, but they come at a price that can hit your wallet hard.
If you can eliminate dependence on central heat and air – even for a few months out of the year – you’ll save hundreds of dollars. Imagine the kind of money you’d save by using only alternative methods!