As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that's left alone. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials come together. Find and fix 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 shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t burning.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to do this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and reduce your water bills with some tips:
- Take quick showers as opposed to long baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when you're 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 shut 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 avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Conserve energy with the following tips: Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when you're able to. Reheat 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,” try to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.