10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how. 

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or lower during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use 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 periods while you’re away from home or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money 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. Keep Up with Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions 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 Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever two building materials come together. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips: 

  • Remove and 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. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Shut the fireplace damper anytime 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. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is an easy way to accomplish this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter. 

7. Manage Your Water Use 

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

  • Take short showers rather than lengthy baths. 
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away. 

8. Turn Things Off

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. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption. 

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Replace them with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down as LEDs last 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 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 functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Line-dry clothes when you’re able to. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, get in touch with 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 big 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. 

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