10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how. 

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place. 

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher for the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save. 

4. Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works better than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, your equipment is able to run for a few years longer when you care for it today. 

5. Find and Seal Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are connected. Find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips: 

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks. 
  • Put in expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish 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 a source of shade over 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 reduce your water bills with these tips: 

  • Take short showers instead of long baths. 
  • Put in 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 right away. 

8. Unplug Electronics

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 you are not using them. 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. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs live 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. 
  • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when you’re able to. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. 
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair service, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big 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 & Plumbing office today. 

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