10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Even though larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that. 

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and change it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you save money without ever losing your sense of comfort. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs better than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling is able to run for a few years longer when you care for it today. 

5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are found. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips: 

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

In the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free in the winter. 

7. Manage Your Water Use 

Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with these tips: 

  • Take shorter showers rather than lengthy baths. 
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you’re shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon 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 not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

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

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Close 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. 
  • Don’t use the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible. 
  • Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

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