10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Although big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how. 

1. Change the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Put in 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 at work or asleep. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system performs more efficiently than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the associated repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is more likely to run for a few years more when you care for it today. 

5. Find and Seal Air Leaks 

Air leaks can develop wherever multiple building materials come together. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips: 

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks. 
  • Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t burning. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, your goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free in the winter. 

7. Use Water Effectively 

Conserve this key resource and save on your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take short showers instead of longer baths. 
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly as possible. 

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. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. 

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Save money with the following 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 operate 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. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Reducing 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, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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