As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for ways to cut back your usage and save money. Even though big investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Adjust 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. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. First, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more efficiently than a neglected one. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the required repair costs. In addition, your equipment is more likely to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are found. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
Through the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is an easy way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Manage Your Water Use
Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with some tips:
- Take shorter showers rather than lengthy baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Repair 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 you are not using them. 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 use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with any of these tips: Shut windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when possible. Reheat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim 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 applying these tips, contact Rob's Albertan Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Rob's Albertan Service Experts office today.