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. Even though larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that. 

1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. Intelligent 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 even greater opportunities to save. 

4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs better than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to live a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today. 

5. Find and Fix Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials come together. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips: 

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is an easy way to do this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter. 

7. Manage Your Water Use 

Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with the following tips: 

  • Take short showers instead of long baths. 
  • Put in 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 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 they aren’t being used. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption. 

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. 

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: 

  • Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Don’t use the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Line-dry clothes when possible. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. 
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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