As energy rates continue to rise, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs today with virtually no 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 looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer for 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, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re at work or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is able to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials come together. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade in the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this key resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take quick showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when 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 turn them off with the flip of a switch when they aren't being used. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips: Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting 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, contact Falso Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Falso Service Experts office today.