We all want to feel comfortable indoors, but is blasting the heater or aircon really the best way to keep our homes at a pleasant temperature? It’s certainly not the best for our wallets, but higher energy consumption is also more damaging for the environment.

If you’re looking to save money on your heating and cooling while making your home greener, here are five of the best ways to do so.

1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!

Does your house get hot pretty quickly in summer or feel freezing cold when it’s cold outside? You might want to consider investing in insulation.

Naturally warm air will flow to where it’s cold, until the temperature is even everywhere, but insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow. That means insulated homes retain heat better in winter, and keep the hot air out better in summer. With a more comfortable indoor environment, you’ll be less likely to rely on artificial heating and cooling. When you do turn the heater or aircon on, they’ll be able to more efficiently heat or cool an insulated home.

Homes lose or gain heat through the walls, floor and windows, but the biggest culprit is the roof. For maximum savings, you should insulate your entire home, but it is especially important to invest in roof insulation with a high R-Value.

2. Set the Thermostat Right

Did you know that small changes in your thermostat temperature can have a big effect on your power bill? By altering your thermostat by a few degrees, the difference to the temperature in your home is barely detectable, but your aircon or heater won’t have to work as hard, leading to savings on your power bill.

For summer, a good rule of thumb is to keep your thermostat between 21-25ºC and for winter between 18-20ºC.

3. Create Climate Zones

Why make your heater or aircon heat/cool the whole home when it would take much less energy to just heat/cool the rooms that are being used? Creating climate zones means your heating/cooling appliances don’t have to work as hard. One great way to keep a single room at a pleasant temperature is by installing internal wall insulation. On top of that, simply closing doors will make a big difference.

4. Work With Nature

If you want to reduce your electricity consumption, try and work with nature instead of against it. For example, in winter if the sun is shining, open your curtains wide and let that natural heat in. At night, when it starts getting cool, shut up your curtains to help keep the warm air in.

If you know it’s going to be a scorcher of a day, close all your curtains and blinds before you go to work to prevent the hot sun heating up your home. If it’s a particularly breezy day, but not too hot, open up your windows and let the wind cool the home down.

5. Choose Energy Efficient Appliances

Old appliances can sometimes be very inefficient, eating up the power and costing you more than they should. If it’s time to replace your heating or cooling appliances, choose new products which have excellent energy star ratings. Though they might cost more out of pocket, you will see a significant difference on your power bills.