As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Even though larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or lower during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re at work or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is able to live a few years more when you care for it today.
5. Uncover and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever a couple of building materials come together. Locate and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a convenient way to handle this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take short showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.
8. Unplug Electronics
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 you are not using them. At the same time, 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 use old incandescent bulbs around the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable 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, especially on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” try to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Peitz Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big upgrades will match your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Peitz Service Experts office today.