As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. Although larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or lower during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or higher for 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, look for a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is able to live a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are connected. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
Through the summer, you should try to shut out solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget permits, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with the following tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to long baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.
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. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips: Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when you're able to. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Pardee Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Pardee Service Experts office today.