10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. While 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 right away with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that. 

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower in the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save. 

4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs better than one that’s left alone. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, the system is able to live a few years longer when you take good care of it today. 

5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks 

Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials come together. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips: 

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, 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 Advantage

During the summer, the goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter. 

7. Use Water Wisely 

Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take shorter showers rather than long baths. 
  • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Shut off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon 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. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline since LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. 

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Don’t use the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when you’re able to. 
  • Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big 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 & Plumbing office today. 

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