As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using 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. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the associated repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling is able to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials come together. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, your goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget allows, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in 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 lower your water bills with some tips:
- Take quick showers instead of lengthy baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly as possible.
8. Turn Things Off
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 not in use. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Save money 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 run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when you're able to. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Rolf Griffin Service Experts . We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Rolf Griffin Service Experts office today.