10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

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

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

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

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs better than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Additionally, the system is able to last a few years longer when you take good care of it today. 

5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks 

Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials come together. Locate and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips: 

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t burning. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

In the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter. 

7. Manage Your Water Use 

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

  • Take quick showers rather than longer baths. 
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Repair 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use. 

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. 

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with the following tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Disable the heated-dry function 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,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

A lot of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket 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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