10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you might be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. Although big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that. 

1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

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

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re at work or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even greater opportunities to save. 

4. Implement Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system performs more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to live a few years longer when you take good care of it today. 

5. Uncover and Fix Air Leaks 

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are found. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips: 

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, your 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 permits, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free in the winter. 

7. Use Water Effectively 

Conserve this important resource and reduce your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take quick showers rather than long baths. 
  • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away. 

8. Keep Electronics 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 not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Exchange them for 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 lights. 

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: 

  • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. 
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially 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 Lowering Home Energy Costs

Many cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will match 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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