10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

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

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit 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. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away or sleeping. 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 even more opportunities to save. 

4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Plus, your equipment is bound to run for a few years longer when you take good care of it today. 

5. Find and Fix Air Leaks 

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are connected. Find and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips: 

  • Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors close more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

In the summer, your goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in 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 home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade in the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free in the winter. 

7. Use Water Wisely 

Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with these tips: 

  • Take quick showers instead of longer baths. 
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix 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 turn them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage. 

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. 

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. 
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Disable the heated-dry functionality 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 local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” strive to use your appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, get in touch with Midland Air Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Midland Air Service Experts office today. 

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