As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away from home or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs better than one that's left alone. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the required repair costs. Plus, the system is bound to live a few years more when you care for it today.
5. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are found. Find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, your goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, 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 enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with these tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when you are not using them. 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 usage.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Replace them with LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy 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 add an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when you're able to. Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Strand Brothers Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Strand Brothers Service Experts office today.