Lots of advice for reducing your home energy costs is not easy to follow. It requires you to swap out your appliances for newer, energy-efficient models, renovate your rooms or revamp your entire lifestyle.
Don’t worry — there are ways that you can shrink your home’s energy costs without spending too much time or money. Here are four quick ways to save energy this fall:
1. Change Your Furnace Filter
If your furnace has a disposable filter, remove it and put a fresh one in the slot. If it has a reusable filter, pull it out and clean it. Once it’s dried, put it back into the slot. It’s that easy.
Why is it important to change your furnace filter? First, a fresh filter can make your furnace more energy-efficient and reduce your energy costs over the course of the year. Second, a clogged furnace filter can strain your furnace and force it to overheat — this can cause some serious problems, including an appliance breakdown.
You should change your furnace’s filter every three months. In the fall and winter, you should do it once a month. Why? You limit the natural ventilation in your home and use your furnace more often during these colder seasons.
While you’re changing your furnace filter, take a good look to see if you spot any furnace problems. You’ll want to investigate these before the winter. If you spot anything wrong, call a furnace technician right away. Your furnace may need a repair, or worse, a replacement as soon as possible.
If you don’t have enough savings to handle the immediate repairs, you should still go through with them. You could put the repair costs on your credit card, or you could apply for an installment loan to help you manage the urgent expense. Installment loans can be incredibly useful for these types of urgent home repairs that you can’t leave alone.
Make sure to look for installment loans that are available in your state. So, if you live in Nashville, you would search for online loans in Tennessee to help you deal with your urgent repairs. By narrowing your search to your state, you can guarantee that the loan will be accessible in Tennessee. It makes the application process faster and easier.
2. Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can enter the house and disrupt the indoor temperature. This can encourage you to use more energy to heat up the house, either with your furnace or with appliances like space heaters.
By sealing up these air leaks, you can maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and minimize your energy costs. Not only will this make a difference during the fall and winter, but it will also make a difference during the spring and summer when you’ll want to stop the heat and humidity from creeping indoors and save on air conditioning.
How can you seal up air leaks? First, you’ll have to find them. The best way to spot air leaks is to hold a lit stick of incense close to windows and exterior doors on a windy day. If the smoke blows away from the surface (instead of curling upwards like normal), there is air pushing its way into your home.
Once you find the air leaks, you can seal the gaps with caulking and weatherstripping. These will keep the cold air outside where it belongs.
3. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
Refrigerator coils are supposed to dissipate heat from the fridge. When they get dirty, they have to work harder to dissipate heat. The harder the coils work, the more energy they use up — and the more money they cost you. If you ignore the problem long enough, it could cause your fridge to break down earlier than it should.
You can avoid this expensive disaster by doing a simple chore: cleaning your refrigerator coils. Unplug the appliance and pull it away from the wall. Find the coils (they may be on the back or on the bottom of the fridge). Vacuum off the dirt as gently as you can. Take a dustpan brush or paintbrush to get in any hard-to-reach corners. Give it another quick vacuum, and you should be all done.
4. Unplug Non-Essential Appliances
Do you know that your appliances soak up energy even when they’re not in use? This is called phantom power — it means that as long as your electronics are plugged in, they’re using up energy and costing you money.
How can you fix this? It’s fairly simple — you can unplug items that don’t need to be plugged in at all times, like the toaster in your kitchen, the electric toothbrush in the bathroom or the desk lamp in your home office. Get in the habit of plugging them in when you need them and then unplugging when you’re done. This can shrink your energy costs over time.
These changes will be so easy to make! You don’t have to overhaul your whole life to cut down your energy costs. Do these four things and save money.