10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for ways to reduce 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 efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how. 

1. Change the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each 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 promoting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place. 

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

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

3. Install 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 allowing you to program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Intelligent 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 program remotely for additional opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling is more likely to live a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today. 

5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are found. 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: 

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, the goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter. 

7. Use Water Effectively 

Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with some tips: 

  • Take quick showers rather than longer baths. 
  • Install 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. 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. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use. 

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. 

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. 
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Don’t use the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Line-dry clothes when the weather is warm. 
  • Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. 
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

A lot of 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, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket 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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