10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you might be on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

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

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher for the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re at work or asleep. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs better than a neglected one. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Additionally, the system is bound to run for a few years longer when you take good care of it today.

5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials are connected. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease 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 the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
    • Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t burning.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Use Water Effectively

Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with these tips:

    • Take quick showers instead of longer baths.
    • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.

8. Keep Electronics Off

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. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use.

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

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

    • Close 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.
    • Don’t use the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
    • Line-dry clothes when possible.
    • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
    • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Cutting 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, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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