As energy rates continue rising, you may be on the lookout for ways to reduce your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter once a month and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will also feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or lower during the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or warmer for 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, look for a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or asleep. Automatic 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 additional opportunities to save.
4. Prioritize Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance delivers a good return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more effectively than one that's left alone. You also lessen the risk of equipment failures and the required repair costs. Additionally, the system is more likely to last a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.
5. Locate and Resolve Air Leaks
Air leaks can form wherever a couple of building materials are found. Try to find and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
- Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Close the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit
During the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows in the afternoon is a simple way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, 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 in the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free during the winter.
7. Use Water Effectively
Conserve this key resource and lower your water bills with some tips:
- Take quick showers instead of longer baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Shut off the water when you're shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.
8. Unplug Electronics
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 not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when not in use to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption.
9. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Do you still have old incandescent bulbs around the house? Replace them with LEDs to save up to 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Use Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the electricity hogs of the home. Conserve energy with 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. Don't use the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Dry clothes outdoors when possible. Heat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons. If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs
Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help implementing these tips, get in touch with Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. Plus, with financing options available, even larger upgrades will match your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.