10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home
As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. While larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or lower through the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re at work or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Implement Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works better than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. Plus, your equipment is more likely to run for a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are found. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget has room, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with some tips:
- Take quick showers instead of long baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.
8. Keep Electronics Off
Plug computers, printers, TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other electronics into power strips. This way, you can turn them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips:
- Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner.
- Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket.
- Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
- Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher.
- Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible.
- Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
- If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
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