As energy rates continue to rise, you are probably on the lookout for tips to reduce your usage and save money. Although 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 today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Change the HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home should feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler through the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or higher over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away from home or in bed. Automated 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 program remotely for additional opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works better than a poorly maintained one. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Plus, your equipment is more likely to run for a few years more when you take good care of it today.
5. Find and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever two building materials come together. Find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:
- Replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors close more tightly.
- Re-caulk any 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.
- Shut the fireplace damper anytime a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
Through the summer, the goal is to shut out solar heat gain. Shutting 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 property. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy plenty of shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with the following tips:
- Take quick showers as opposed to lengthy baths.
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix 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 avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy use.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs at home? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease since LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Lower costs with any of these tips: Close windows and doors when starting the furnace or air conditioner. Adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. Hang your clothes outside to dry when you're able to. Heat up 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,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to San Antonio Air Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local San Antonio Air Service Experts office today.