10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue rising, you are probably on the lookout for tips to scale back your usage and save money. Even though big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s what to do.

1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and replace it when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter pays for itself by boosting efficiency, ensuring proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a new filter in place.

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler through 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, upgrade to a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly in energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away or in bed. Automatic 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 set up remotely for even greater opportunities to save.

4. Keep Up with Yearly HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers an excellent return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more efficiently than one that's left alone. You also reduce the risk of breakdowns and the required repair costs. Plus, your equipment is more likely to run for a few years more when you care for it today.

5. Find and Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks may occur wherever multiple building materials are found. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Try to replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly. 
  • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
  • Apply expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors. 
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, the goal is to block solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.

7. Manage Your Water Use

Conserve this important resource and save on your water bills with these tips:

  • Take short showers instead of lengthy baths.
  • Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
  • Turn off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.

8. Unplug Electronics

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 usage.

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Exchange them for LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Operate Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Lower costs with the following tips:

  • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Lower 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.
  • Line-dry clothes when you're able to.
  • Reheat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons.
  • If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” aim to use any 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 Gordon's Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair support, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will match your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Gordon's Service Experts office today.

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