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 such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Change the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away from home or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are found. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:

    • Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
    • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
    • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t burning.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

During the summer, the goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

Conserve this key resource and save on your water bills with these tips:

    • Take short showers instead of long baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Repair 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 shut 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 you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

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

    • Shut windows and doors when starting 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.
    • Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
    • Line-dry clothes when possible.
    • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
    • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” try to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related 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 offer affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit 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.