10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Even though larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with very little 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 appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the associated repair costs. Additionally, your equipment is able to live a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today. 

5. Uncover and Fix Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever a couple of building materials come together. Find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce 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 seal out air leaks. 
  • Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

In the summer, you should try to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source 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 key resource and reduce your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take shorter showers as opposed to lengthy baths. 
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix 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. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption. 

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. 

10. Use 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. 
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible. 
  • Reheat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” aim to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Lowering 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, 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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