10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Although big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with very little up-front investment. Here’s how. 

1. Check the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler through the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in 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. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away or asleep. Automated 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 set up remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than one that’s left alone. 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 Fix Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are found. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips: 

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

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, you should try to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient 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 selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter. 

7. Use Water Effectively 

Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take quick showers as opposed to 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 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 minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. 

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. 
  • Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Don’t use the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. 
  • Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use any 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, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We supply affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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