As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Replace Your 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 pays for itself by boosting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling is more likely to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Find and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials come together. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
During the summer, you should try to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take short showers as opposed to long 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 minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Swap them out with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when the weather is warm. Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with A1 Chesney Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, 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 A1 Chesney Service Experts office today.