10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for tips to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with very little up-front investment. Here’s how. 

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 pay for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

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

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever losing your sense of comfort. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works better than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to live a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today. 

5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials come together. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips: 

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

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

7. Use Water Effectively 

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

  • Take quick showers instead of longer baths. 
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Deal with 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use. 

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. 

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Shut windows and doors when using 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. 
  • Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. 
  • Dry clothes outdoors when possible. 
  • Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” aim 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, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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