10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Change the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and change it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Keep Up with Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to run for a few years more when you care for it today.

5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks

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

    • Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
    • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
    • Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

In the summer, your goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still allowing 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 these tips:

    • Take short showers rather than lengthy baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.

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. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity 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 install an insulating blanket.
    • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Don’t use the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher.
    • Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm.
    • Reheat 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 Lowering Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside 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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