As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for strategies to cut back your usage and save money. While big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or lower through the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, upgrade to 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 sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works better than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the required 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 two building materials come together. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, your goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this key resource and save on your water bills with these tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to longer baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.
8. Unplug Electronics
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. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when possible. 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 during “peak times,” try to use energy-heavy 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 making use of these tips, get in touch with Robinson Service Experts . We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Robinson Service Experts office today.