10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for tips to cut back your usage and save money. Although larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Prioritize Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing 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 required repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is more likely to live a few years more when you take good care of it today.

5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks

Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are connected. Find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors shut more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
  • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Close 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 block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to handle 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 plenty of shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Manage Your Water Use

Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with the following tips:

  • Take shorter showers as opposed to long 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. Turn Things Off

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 minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

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

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips:

  • Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket.
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • Switch off the heated-dry functionality 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,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
  • Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

    A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Roland J. Down Service Experts . We provide affordable maintenance and repair service, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Roland J. Down Service Experts office today.

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