As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it looks 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 should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or lower during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re away or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, the system is able to live a few years longer when you care for it today.
5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials are connected. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
Through the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple 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 a source of shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with some tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to long baths.
- Secure 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 as soon as possible.
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 not in use. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with the following tips: Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible. Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use energy-heavy 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, get in touch with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide 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 info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.