As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. Although big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and replace 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, providing 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. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or lower during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to live a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials come together. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with these tips:
- Take short showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you are 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 not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with any of these tips: Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when you're able to. Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “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 implementing these tips, get in touch with Stevenson Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big upgrades will match your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Stevenson Service Experts office today.