10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even more 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 more effectively than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. Additionally, 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 may occur wherever multiple building materials are connected. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:

    • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
    • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
    • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your 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. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.

7. Manage Your Water Use

Conserve this important resource and save on your water bills with these tips:

    • Take short showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon 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 you are not using them. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use.

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with any of these tips:

    • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket.
    • Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
    • Line-dry clothes when the weather is warm.
    • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
    • If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even larger 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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