As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. Although larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and replace it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower in the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is more likely to live a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials come together. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
Through the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a convenient way to handle this. If your budget allows, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with these tips:
- Take quick showers instead of long baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair 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 they aren't being used. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when you're able to. Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket 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 office today.