As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for strategies to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or lower during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away or asleep. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works better than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Plus, the system is more likely to last a few years more when you care for it today.
5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are connected. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, you should try to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple 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 plenty of shade for 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 short showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when 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 shut 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 not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
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 decline since LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm. Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Calverley Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Calverley Service Experts office today.