10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s what to do. 

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by encouraging efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler through 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. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for 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 asleep. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even greater opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to run for a few years more when you take good care of it today. 

5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials are connected. Try to find and seal 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 prevent air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

Through the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through 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 home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for 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 shorter showers rather than longer baths. 
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible. 

8. Turn Things 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 they aren’t being used. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. 

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Lower 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 function on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when you’re able to. 
  • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

Many 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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