10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home
As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. While big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs right away with very little up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by boosting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or lower in 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. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, upgrade to a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or asleep. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever losing your sense of comfort. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even greater opportunities to save.
4. Schedule Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also lower the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your equipment is bound to live a few years more when you care for it today.
5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever a couple of building materials are connected. Try to 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:
- Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
In the summer, you should try to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with these tips:
- Take shorter showers instead of long baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as quickly 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 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 avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also go down since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Save money with the following tips:
- Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
- Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket.
- Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
- Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
- Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm.
- Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
- If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, contact Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, along with 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 Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.