10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for tips 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 cut energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that. 

1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by encouraging efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and increase 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, look for a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away or sleeping. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more effectively than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your equipment is able to live a few years longer when you care for it today. 

5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials come together. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips: 

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade in the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter. 

7. Use Water Effectively 

Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with these tips: 

  • Take shorter showers instead of longer baths. 
  • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Deal with 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 turn them off with the flip of a switch when you are not using them. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use. 

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. 

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. 
  • Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Don’t use the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Dry clothes outdoors when you’re able to. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

Many cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer 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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