As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. Even though larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and replace it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away from home or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever losing your sense of comfort. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more effectively than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to run for a few years longer when you care for it today.
5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are connected. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some 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 around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.
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 during the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget has room, you can also try to 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 throughout the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with the following tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to longer baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly 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 not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when you're able to. Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket 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 office today.