10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and change it when it seems 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 overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher for the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Install 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 allowing you to program setback periods while you’re at work or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system performs more effectively than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to run for a few years more when you take good care of it today.

5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:

    • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
    • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
    • Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t burning.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget permits, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

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

    • Take quick showers instead of lengthy baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Repair 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 not in use. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

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

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

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

    • Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Adjust 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 functionality on your dishwasher.
    • Line-dry clothes when possible.
    • Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
    • If the utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair work, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, 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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