10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. While larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more 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 monthly and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away or in bed. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save. 

4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, your equipment is able to run for a few years more when you care for it today. 

5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are connected. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips: 

  • Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Put in expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t burning. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

In the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget permits, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still enabling 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 as opposed to longer baths. 
  • Secure 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 soon as possible. 

8. Keep Electronics Off

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 avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. 

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with any of these tips: 

  • Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. 
  • Only operate 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. 
  • Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, along with 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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