As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce 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 looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Annual HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Plus, the system is able to last a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Find and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials are found. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your home's walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is an easy way to do this. If your budget allows, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with these tips:
- Take quick showers instead of lengthy 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 quickly 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when they aren't being used. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Operate Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with these tips: Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when you're able to. Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “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 implementing these tips, reach out to Komfort Air Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Komfort Air Service Experts office today.