10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home
As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for tips to scale back your usage and save money. Even though larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or lower through the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to last a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Find and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever multiple building materials are connected. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
During the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is an easy way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with some tips:
- Take short showers instead of lengthy baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly as possible.
8. Turn Things 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 prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips:
- Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
- Turn down 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.
- Line-dry clothes when possible.
- Heat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
- If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
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