As energy rates continue rising, you might be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. Although larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing 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 new filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower through the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use 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 at work or in bed. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more effectively than one that's left alone. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling 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 a couple of building materials are connected. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget allows, 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 helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with these tips:
- Take shorter showers rather than longer baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly as possible.
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 not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when you're able to. Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will match your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air office today.