10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. While big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs right away with very little up-front investment. Here’s what to do.

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

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

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or lower during 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 use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re at work or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save.

4. Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more effectively than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. Additionally, the system is bound to run for a few years longer when you care for it today.

5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks

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

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

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

Through the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Use Water Effectively

Conserve this important resource and reduce your water bills with these tips:

    • Take short showers as opposed to longer baths.
    • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when you’re 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 you are not using them. 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 use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with the following tips:

    • Close windows and doors when starting 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.
    • Disable the heated-dry function on your dishwasher.
    • Line-dry clothes when you’re able to.
    • Heat up food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
    • If your utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit 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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