As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. While larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or lower during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling is more likely to last a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials come together. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
During the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take shorter showers rather than longer baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon 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. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips: Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, contact Wesley Wood Service Experts. We provide affordable maintenance and repair work, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Wesley Wood Service Experts office today.