As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to cut back your usage and save money. Although big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler through the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more efficiently than a neglected one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to live a few years more when you care for it today.
5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
Through the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple 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 selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade over the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with the following tips:
- Take quick showers rather than long baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly 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. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent 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 as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Save money 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 operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when the weather is warm. Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” try to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket 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 office today.