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10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. Although big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.

1. Check the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works better than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is bound to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.

5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:

    • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
    • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
    • Put in expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

In the summer, the goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to handle this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Manage Your Water Use

Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with some tips:

    • Take quick showers instead of lengthy baths.
    • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Turn off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.

8. Unplug Electronics

Plug computers, printers, TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other electronics into power strips. This way, you can shut them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use.

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips:

    • Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket.
    • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Don’t use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher.
    • Line-dry clothes when the weather is warm.
    • Heat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
    • If your utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will match 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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