As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Check the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower through the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the associated repair costs. Additionally, the system is able to live a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are found. Find and seal 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 help windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, 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 Advantage
Through the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to do this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade in the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with the following tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Deal with 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 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. Replace 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 light bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when you're able to. Heat 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,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, get in touch with Eveready Service Experts . We provide affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Eveready Service Experts office today.