As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for tips to scale back your usage and save money. Although big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re at work or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. Plus, your heating and cooling is bound to last a few years longer when you take good care of it today.
5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials are connected. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Apply 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
Through the summer, your goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with the following tips:
- Take quick showers as opposed to long baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.
8. Keep Electronics 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. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with the following tips: Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the 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
A lot of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, reach out to Climate Control Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Climate Control Service Experts office today.