As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. While larger 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 very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting 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 clean filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature around 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. Get 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 allowing you to program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Plus, your equipment is more likely to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are found. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade in the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with the following tips:
- Take quick showers as opposed to long baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.
8. Turn Things 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. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips: Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when possible. Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, reach out to TML Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local TML Service Experts office today.