10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for tips to reduce your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, dress for 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 kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works better than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the required repair costs. Plus, your heating and cooling is more likely to last a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks can form wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:

    • Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
    • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
    • Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget allows, 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 in the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

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

    • Take shorter showers instead of long baths.
    • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.

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. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips:

    • Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket.
    • Only use 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 possible.
    • Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
    • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related 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 provide affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will suit 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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