10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you might be on the lookout for tips to reduce your usage and save money. Even though big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do. 

1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting 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 fresh filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit 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 in energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re at work or asleep. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more efficiently than a neglected one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the required repair costs. In addition, your equipment is more likely to last a few years longer when you care for it today. 

5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form 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 a couple of tips: 

  • Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks. 
  • Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

In the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter. 

7. Manage Your Water Use 

Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take short showers as opposed to long baths. 
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible. 

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. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use. 

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down as LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. 

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 install an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Line-dry clothes when the weather is warm. 
  • Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. 
  • If your 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, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair work, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even larger 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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