As energy rates continue to rise, you might be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can cut energy costs sooner with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Check the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter monthly and replace it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting 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 clean filter in place.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away 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 program remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that's left alone. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, the system is able to last a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Uncover and Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks may occur wherever two building materials are found. Locate 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 shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Put in expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t being lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During 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 permits, 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 in the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this important resource and save on your water bills with some tips:
- Take shorter showers as opposed to longer baths.
- Put in 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 you are not using them. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Save money with any of these tips: Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Disable the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when possible. Reheat food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially 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 Reducing Home Energy Costs
A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big upgrades will match your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts office today.