10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you might be on the lookout for tips to reduce your usage and save money. Although larger investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs sooner with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and change it when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by encouraging efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.

2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in the summer. Then, choose clothes that suit the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re at work or in bed. Intelligent temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever feeling uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even greater opportunities to save.

4. Keep Up with Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs better than one that's left alone. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your equipment is bound to last a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Find and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials come together. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are some tips:

  • Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
  • Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Shut the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t burning.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

In the summer, your goal is to block solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade over the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with these tips:

  • Take quick showers as opposed to long baths.
  • Install 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 they aren't being used. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use.

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Exchange them for LEDs to save as much as 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

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

  • Shut windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket.
  • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm.
  • Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” try to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
  • Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

    Many cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Strand Brothers Service Experts. We provide affordable maintenance and repair support, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will match your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Strand Brothers Service Experts office today.

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