Conserving energy in the first place is even more important than which type of heating or cooling system you install.
Here are some ways to conserve energy in your home, to reduce your reliance on heating and cooling systems:
- Orient the building with the sun in mind. The greatest heat will come from the sunlight from the south and west exposures, so keep this in mind when placing your house on the land. Read more on solar orientation.
- Use trees to shade the house on the south and west sides. The bare winter branches will allow the sunlight to come through and warm your home. Read more about site selection
- Minimize the size of windows on the west and south sides. Control the amount of hot sun you receive with smaller windows.
- If you’re hot, open the windows at night instead of running the air conditioner. Most of the time, a cool breeze is all you need to stay comfortable. Set your programmable thermostat to turn off the air conditioner at night.
- Close vents in unoccupied rooms. Don’t heat empty space.
- Shade south-facing windows with overhangs, trellises, or awnings. Remember the summer sun is higher than the winter sun, so these overhangs will keep you cool. Read more about strategic site design.
- Use window treatments on south-facing windows. Thick curtains can shade your home and keep the hot sun from baking the room.