10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. Although larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and replace it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. Plus, your equipment is bound to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials come together. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:

    • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
    • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
    • Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Shut the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

During the summer, the goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is an easy way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still allowing 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 the following tips:

    • Take short showers instead of lengthy baths.
    • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly 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 they aren’t being used. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Use 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.
    • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket.
    • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Don’t use the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher.
    • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible.
    • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
    • If your utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” try to use your appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, get in touch with 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 larger upgrades will match 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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