As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for tips to scale back your usage and save money. Even though larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and change it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by encouraging efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install 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 letting you program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is bound to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever multiple building materials are found. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam around 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
Through the summer, your goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to do this. If your budget has room, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with these tips:
- Take short showers rather than longer baths.
- Put in 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 right away.
8. Keep Electronics 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 they aren't being used. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of 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 use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, contact Parker Pearce 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 larger upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Parker Pearce Service Experts office today.