February 6, 2015

Outside of rent or mortgage, energy costs are one of the most expensive bills in a household. Making even small reductions in energy usage is not just good for your finances, but good for the planet as well. However, you don’t need to suffer in summer heat or hang out laundry to save on electric, gas and heating and cooling costs.

Take a look at some of our HVAC tips and other home improvement ideas to save you money during the hot summer months in Las Vegas.

(1) Replace old and inefficient appliances with new ones that are Energy Star certified. Energy Star appliances use up to 30% less energy than others. This especially makes a huge difference when it comes to HVAC appliances like furnaces.

(2) Consider a programmable thermostat. Rather than heating or cooling your home all the time, a programmable thermostat will shut off temperature control while you are gone and turn it on in time for you to come home to a house with a pleasant temperature. This can cut back immensely on heating and air conditioning costs.

(3) Add insulation. Foam-in-place insulation can be affordable installed by being blown into your walls. It reduces air leakage and keeps your home more comfortable with less energy.

(4) Install insulation in your attic. The attic is often a weak spot in a home’s insulation, but there are types of insulation that you can easily roll onto your attic floor.

(5) Switch to low flow faucets and showerheads. This will cut back on water usage while also reducing the energy needed to heat water.

(6) Stop the draft. Sealing leaks in windows and ducts, and otherwise preventing drafts, can reduce your heating and cooling bills by one-fifth.

(7) Wrap your hot water heater. There are specially made ‘blankets’ that prevent heat loss from your hot water heater and lower water heating costs.

(8) Select a furnace carefully. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating will tell you how efficient they are. Note that the higher the rating, the better the efficiency of the furnace.

(9) Plant bushes, trees, or a trellis with vines near the home. These provide shade and also a windbreak, keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

(10) Change your HVAC air filters once a month or as often as your HVAC company recommends. In addition, clean ducts at least twice a year.

(11) Rather than leaving outside lights on at night, use motion-activated lights. This will give you the safety benefits of outdoor lighting with much less energy use.

(12) Change your dryer ventilation so that it vents to the outside of your home. In summer, the hot air from the dryer will heat your home; in winter it will add to the moisture in your home and encourage mold growth.

(13) Install ceiling fans. Moving air feels several degrees cooler. In addition, you can reverse the direction of the fan in winter to push warm air toward the floor.

(14) Insulate your pipes. This is especially important with the first six feet of pipe leaving your water heater.

(15) Have your ducts inspected. Leaking ducts can waste a great deal of energy. There are even rebates in many areas that will cover part of this cost for you.

(16) Install fluorescent tube lighting in areas such as the garage where ambiance is not crucial. These lights use far less energy even if they have an office-like feeling.

(17) Add a timer to your hot water heater. There’s no need to pay to heat water when you aren’t even home.

(18) Install energy-efficient windows. These will help hold in heat or cool, depending on the season.

(19) Apply reflective coating to your roof. This will keep the sunlight from heating your home on sunny summer days while also making your roof last longer.

(20) Install door sweeps on all exterior doors.

(21) Have flashing installed around your doors. This is a cheap way of reducing the energy lost to drafts near doors.

(22) Have your hot water pipes inspected for leaks. Even a small leak can waste a lot of water and money over time.

(23) Add weather stripping to all windows. This $5-10 repair can pay for itself in as little as a month.

(24) Consider a heat pump HVAC system. In temperate climates, these are often a much more economical choice.

(25) Add external insulation. If you have insulated the interior of your home thoroughly, a lack of external insulation may be the main issue.

(26) Consider radiant heating. While radiant heating will require some installation cost, it is often the best choice for heating a home in colder areas.

(27) Have an HVAC technician inspect your system annually. A healthy system lasts longer and uses less energy.

(28) Install storm windows. Storm windows can reduce energy loss by up to fifty percent.

(29) Install carpeting. Carpeting insulates the floor and also makes it more comfortable to live with a lower thermostate setting in winter.

(30) Weatherproof your fireplace. A fireplace can allow outdoor air to flood into your home without a sealed flue damper and glass doors.

(31) Consider a tankless water heater. These heaters heat water as you need it rather than keeping a reservoir of hot water at all times. They can cut water heating costs by half.

(32) Install toggle switch plates. These allow you to turn off outlets completely, which is an energy saver when it comes to televisions and other electronics that use energy even when turned off.

(33) Choose paint wisely. Darker colors may be trendy but they will heat a home to uncomfortable levels on sunny days.

(34) Add an attic fan. This will remove hot air from your attic in warm weather months.

(35) Consider an energy audit. When all measures have failed, a professional energy auditor may be able to find areas where you can conserve more.

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