10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do. 

1. Check the 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 preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to run for a few years longer when you take good care of it today. 

5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks 

Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips: 

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

Through the summer, you should try to shut out solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget allows, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty 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 key resource and lower your water bills with these tips: 

  • Take quick showers rather than long baths. 
  • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon 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 shut 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 avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use. 

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

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

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with any of these tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. 
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. 
  • Heat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” strive to use any 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 making use of these tips, get in touch with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We provide affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, 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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