As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for strategies 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 cut energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler in 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 have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. In addition, the system is able to last a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials are found. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t burning.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take shorter showers rather than long baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly as possible.
8. Keep Electronics 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. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when possible. 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,” aim to use energy-heavy 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 applying these tips, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big 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.