As energy rates continue rising, you might be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Although larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should 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 increase it to 77 degrees or higher 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, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re at work or asleep. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more efficiently than a neglected one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. Additionally, your equipment is able to live a few years longer when you take good care of it today.
5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials are found. Locate and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
In the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over 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 the following tips:
- Take shorter showers instead of longer baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.
8. Unplug Electronics
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 not in use. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when the weather is warm. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, contact Broad Ripple Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Broad Ripple Service Experts office today.