10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you are probably on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Although big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Change the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Implement Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to run for a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Find and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever multiple building materials are found. Find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
  • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

During the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with the following tips:

  • Take shorter showers instead of long baths.
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
  • Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
  • Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.

8. Keep Electronics 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. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket.
  • Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
  • Dry clothes outdoors when possible.
  • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
  • If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
  • Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

    A lot of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.