10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for tips to reduce your usage and save money. While larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

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

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. For starters, 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 necessary repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to last a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are connected. Find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:

    • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors close more tightly.
    • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
    • Apply expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

Through the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through 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 plenty of shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Manage Your Water Use

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

    • Take quick showers instead of long baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Fix 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when they aren’t being used. 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 use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Swap them out with 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 power hogs of the home. Save money with these tips:

    • Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket.
    • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher.
    • Dry clothes outdoors when possible.
    • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
    • If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside 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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