10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. Although larger investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems certainly make your home more energy efficient, you can lower energy costs sooner with very little up-front investment. Here’s what to do.

1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it seems dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can pay for itself by promoting 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 fresh filter in place.

2. Adjust Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower in the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by letting you program setback periods while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automated temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever losing your sense of comfort. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for even greater opportunities to save.

4. Implement Annual HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance offers a great return on investment. First, it pays you back by reducing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system performs better than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of malfunctions and the necessary repair costs. Plus, the system is more likely to run for a few years more when you care for it today.

5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever two building materials are found. Locate and fix these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:

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

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, your goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget permits, you can also try to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free in the winter.

7. Use Water Wisely

Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with the following tips:

    • Take short showers rather than long baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Turn off the water when 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 they aren’t being used. At the same time, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

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 decline because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

10. Run Appliances Efficiently

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

    • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket.
    • Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Switch off the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher.
    • Dry clothes outdoors 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 around “peak times,” try to use any appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs

Lots of cost-cutting measures relate to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, reach out to Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. We offer affordable maintenance and repair service, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will fit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.

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