Even as energy costs keep increasing each year, homeowners have no choice but to pay the price of keeping their homes electrified. That’s the reason why they’re looking for ways to consume less energy and pay lower costs. While you find yourself at the mercy of power companies, making changes to the way you consume power and installing the right improvements will help you save for the long haul. Enjoy more savings and still live comfortably by applying these essential tips:

1. Add insulation to your home

Homes that lack insulation suffer from higher energy bills because heat and cold dissipate faster. Other than that, insufficient insulation can cause your HVAC system to use more energy to heat or cool down indoor spaces. If you think this is the main reason your energy costs have gone up, then it’s best to inspect areas where you will need to reinforce your insulation.

The first space you will need to assess is your attic since this is where air leaks often occur. Insulation also prevents moisture damage and enables optimal heating and cooling. You may also need to check for leaks in the indoor walls in the living room and bedrooms. Make sure to use a proper R-value for each area. Don’t overlook crawl spaces, because air also escapes through these areas.

2. Maintain your HVAC system

To ensure greater energy efficiency, it’s important to check whether your HVAC system is in pristine condition. While most HVAC units could last 30 years, the lifespan will still depend on how long and how often they are used. If you live in temperate regions, you’d most likely set your air conditioning to a lower temperature.

Prolonged use and regular wear and tear can affect the performance of your HVAC system. They’re more likely to consume more energy without giving you the optimal heating and cooling you need. For this reason, consider checking your HVAC units for mechanical issues. When it comes to air conditioning, have an AC repair service to detect problems like weak airflow and refrigerant leaks. You may also need to keep your HVAC system free from blockages caused by dust and dirt.

3. Hack all your appliances

Another good cause of higher energy bills is the way you use your appliances. Everything from washing machines and dishwashers consumes more energy than we think, so changing the way you use these appliances will help you save money in the long run.

When using your washing machine, use a lower temperature setting and do your laundry once a week. You might also want to sun dry your clothes instead of using your dryer. You should also reduce your dishwasher use by washing a full load. Simple appliance tips like these can help you save as much as $50 a month. Keep it going and you will have more money to set aside for your other goals.

4. Unplug “vampire” devices

You might think that keeping certain appliances plugged in won’t necessarily lead to a spike in your energy bill. While they might not consume too much electricity in their idle state, vampire devices could still use up electricity and add to your expenses. These extra costs could grow large if you have the habit of leaving your appliances plugged in.

Unplugging these appliances while they’re idle or you’ve left home will help you prevent added energy costs. Doing so can also prevent household fires which often result from short circuited devices that had been left plugged in.

5. Invest in a programmable thermostat

Setting optimal cooling and heating during certain times of the year is a major challenge that homeowners face. Many homes still have outdated thermostats, but these lack efficiency features that allow homes to save power costs. Not only that but using manual thermostats are hectic to use since you will need to keep adjusting the system until you have reached optimal indoor temperatures.

Moving on from this outdated system opens you up to more personalized energy-saving options. Today’s smart homes feature programmable or smart thermostats that adjust automatically when triggered by outdoor and indoor climates. These thermostats also make it possible to limit heating and cooling to specific areas of your home. This will help prevent energy waste.