10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

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

1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is more likely to run for a few years longer when you take good care of it today.

5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks

Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are found. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:

  • Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors close more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
  • Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, your goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

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

  • Take short showers as opposed to lengthy 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 prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use.

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down as LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Shut 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.
  • Disable the heated-dry function on your dishwasher.
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible.
  • Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try 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 implementing these tips, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We supply affordable maintenance and repair service, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.

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