As energy rates continue rising, you might be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever losing your sense of comfort. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works better than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is bound to last a few years longer when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials are connected. Locate and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t burning.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to handle this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade in the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with some tips:
- Take short showers instead of longer baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.
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 they aren't being used. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips: Close windows and doors when using 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. Don't use the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when the weather is warm. Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use energy-heavy appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Peachtree Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will match your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Peachtree Service Experts office today.