As energy rates continue rising, you are probably 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 energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits 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. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by letting you program setback schedules while you’re at work or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Preventative HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs more effectively than one that's left alone. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to run for a few years longer when you care for it today.
5. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk any cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, you should try to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade over the summer while still enabling 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 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. Unplug Electronics
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 you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy 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 use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when possible. Heat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the 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
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, reach out to Midland Air Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, 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 Midland Air Service Experts office today.