As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. While big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting 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 clean filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower through the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more effectively than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the associated repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is bound to last a few years more when you care for it today.
5. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are found. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
In the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a convenient way to handle this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and lower 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 are shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly 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 you are not using them. At the same time, 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 as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. Only operate 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 instead of the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate 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 supply affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.