10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and change it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or lower through the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer in 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. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance provides a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works better than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. Additionally, the system is able to run for a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Find and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials are found. Find and seal 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 help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
    • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
    • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

During the summer, you should try to shut out solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.

7. Use Water Effectively

Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with these tips:

    • Take shorter showers rather than long baths.
    • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Shut off the water when 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when they aren’t being used. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

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

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips:

    • Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket.
    • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
    • Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm.
    • Heat up food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
    • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

Many 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 support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even larger 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 & Plumbing office today.

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