10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to cut back your usage and save money. Although larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Check the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. 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 about 70 degrees or lower during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by allowing you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even greater opportunities to save.

4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a great 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 lessen the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. In addition, the system is bound to live a few years more when you care for it today.

5. Uncover and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials are found. Try to find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
  • Apply expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

In the summer, your goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish this. If your budget allows, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade in the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with some tips:

  • Take short showers instead of long baths.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
  • Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
  • Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.

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 they aren't being used. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips:

  • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket.
  • Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher.
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible.
  • Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.
  • Get Help Cutting 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.