As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Check the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower through the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Implement Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers 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 a neglected one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Additionally, your heating and cooling is able to live a few years longer when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover 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 reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- 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, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is an easy way to do this. If your budget allows, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with these tips:
- Take short showers rather than lengthy baths.
- Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when 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 you are not using them. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline because LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Lower costs with these tips: Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Don't use the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when possible. Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” try 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, get in touch with Freschi Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Freschi Service Experts office today.