10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you are probably on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce energy costs right away with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by promoting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and stopping 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. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature around 70 degrees or cooler in the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer in 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, look for 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 or in bed. Automated temperature recovery means you lower costs without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Keep an eye out for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can set up remotely for even more opportunities to save.

4. Prioritize Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system runs more effectively than a neglected one. You also reduce the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. In addition, your heating and cooling is bound to run for a few years more when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks can form wherever multiple building materials are connected. Find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a few tips:

  • Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
  • Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in your walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

During the summer, you should try to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade in the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Use Water Effectively

Conserve this limited resource and reduce your water bills with some tips:

  • Take quick showers rather than longer baths.
  • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
  • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
  • Fix 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 avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Upgrade 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 decline as LEDs last about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Conserve energy with the following tips:

  • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and add an insulating blanket.
  • Only operate the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • Don't use 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, particularly on summer afternoons.
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” strive 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 D.A. Bennett Service Experts. We provide affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will suit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local D.A. Bennett Service Experts office today.

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