As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. While larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and preventing 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. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or lower during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away or asleep. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Implement Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works better than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is bound to live a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials come together. Find 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 close more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple 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 a source of shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this limited resource and save on your water bills with the following tips:
- Take quick showers rather than lengthy baths.
- Put in 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 as soon 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 not in use. 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 use.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Lower costs with the following tips: Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when the weather is warm. Heat food in the microwave instead of 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 Lowering Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Coastal Service Experts. We provide affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Coastal Service Experts office today.