As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or lower through the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly 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 well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to live a few years longer when you take good care of it today.
5. Find and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials are found. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget has room, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with the following tips:
- Take shorter showers instead of longer baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly as possible.
8. Unplug Electronics
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 you are not using them. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when running 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 function on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing 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, reach out to Atmostemp Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Atmostemp Service Experts office today.