As energy rates continue to rise, you are probably on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Check the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each 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 encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. 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 around 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher for 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, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Schedule Yearly 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 works more efficiently than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials come together. Locate and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
In the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget allows, 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 during the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with these tips:
- Take shorter showers rather than lengthy 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. 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 not in use. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Replace them with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips: Close windows and doors when starting 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. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. Heat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures relate 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. We provide affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.