10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs today with very little up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Change the HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by encouraging efficiency, providing proper airflow, and preventing 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

Keep the temperature around 70 degrees or lower during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or higher for 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, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away or in bed. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system performs better than a neglected one. You also lower the risk of equipment failures and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your equipment is able to run for a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks

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

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

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

Through the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is a simple way to handle 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 cooling shade over 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 save on your water bills with some tips:

  • Take shorter showers instead of lengthy baths.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
  • Turn off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
  • Repair 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 shut them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy use.

9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use 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 as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Close windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Lower 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 function on your dishwasher.
  • Dry clothes outdoors when you're able to.
  • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
  • Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

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

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