As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower through the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have 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 schedules while you’re at work or in bed. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is more likely to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Uncover and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are connected. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, your goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this important resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take short showers rather than longer baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly 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 they aren't being used. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when you're able to. Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, get in touch with Golden Seal Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Golden Seal Service Experts office today.