As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.
1. Check the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out 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 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
Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler through the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly via energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re away from home or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you save money without ever losing your sense of comfort. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the required repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are connected. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam around wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to do this. If your budget allows, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this key resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to longer 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 as soon as possible.
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 you are not using them. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have 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 go down because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes 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 directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, get in touch with Jack Nelson Service Experts. We provide affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will match your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Jack Nelson Service Experts office today.