As energy rates continue to rise, you are probably on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. Even though larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower through the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re at work or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system performs more effectively than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the required repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is more likely to live a few years longer when you take good care of it today.
5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever multiple building materials are connected. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient way to handle this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with these tips:
- Take shorter showers instead of long baths.
- Secure 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 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 turn them off with the flip of a switch when they aren't being used. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? 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 light bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when possible. Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” try to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Comfort Masters Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair service, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Comfort Masters Service Experts office today.