If you’ve been following global news, you know the conversation around climate change has been heating up (and apparently, so has our planet). As a result of the growing concern, many conscientious homeowners have begun searching for ways to improve their homes’ energy efficiency. Are you one of them?

At Steve’s Plumbing & Heating, we know there’s a wide variety of home improvements you can make to reduce your yearly energy consumption. We also know there are several far more simple things you can do that don’t cost any extra money to undertake. Below, we’re discussing a few simple household habit tweaks that, when combined, can dramatically reduce your home’s electricity and water consumption.

Practice Proper HVAC Maintenance

Did you know your HVAC system consumes up to 66% of your home’s total energy usage? And in Wisconsin, we’re either using our furnaces or our air conditioners at all times of the year. Winter is frigid, and summer is humid and scorching, and if your furnace and A/C unit aren’t in great condition, they can consume far more energy than you’d like to pay for. The same idea applies to boilers, heat pumps, and even your home’s ductwork — they all require routine maintenance to function efficiently.

To practice proper heating and cooling maintenance, here’s what you’ll need to do:

●        Replace the filters at routine intervals. Insert new HVAC filters according to your system’s instructions. If you have pets, you may need to replace them more frequently.

●        Have routine inspections. Twice a year, have your heating and cooling professional inspect the area around the air intake, as well as the fan, bearings, and belts.

●        Maintain the ducts. One per year, have your heating and cooling technician inspect the supply duct and cabinet for air leaks. If repairs are necessary, have them performed promptly.

●        Clean the coils. Once or twice per year, clean your air conditioner’s evaporator and condenser coils to maintain superior energy efficiency.

Keep in mind that most HVAC systems have a lifespan of around 15-20 years, so if yours is approaching the end of its usable life, it may be time for furnace or air conditioner replacement.

Keep Running Water To a Minimum

How often do you leave the faucet running without a second thought? If you’re like many homeowners, you do it when you brush your teeth, when you’re getting ready to shower, when you’re shaving — the list goes on and on.

To keep your water bills as low as possible, and to avoid wasting water, do your best to turn off your faucets any time you’re not actively using the water they emit. Also, keep in mind that the average shower consumes about 25% of the water that the average bathtub can hold, so if you’re a big fan of bubble baths, now may be the time to make the switch to stand-up bathing.

Install Low-Flow Aerators on Faucets and Showerheads

Installing low-flow faucet and showerhead attachments can reduce your household water use considerably. Depending on the type of aerator you select, you may be able to reduce your water consumption by up to 50% on each faucet you retrofit with the apparatus. If you’re not confident in your installation abilities, contact a plumbing professional to perform the installation for you.

Maintain Your Plumbing Properly

Routine drain cleaning and plumbing maintenance can play a central role in lowering your home’s total water consumption. It’s nearly impossible to prevent all solid and oily matter from flowing down your drains, and as residue accumulates inside your pipes, you may end up with efficiency-hampering drain clogs. Fortunately, annual professional drain cleaning helps maintain the efficiency of your pipes and reduces your chances of developing more severe plumbing problems.

It’s also important to pay close attention to your household toilets since aging toilet components can contribute to plumbing leaks and excess water consumption. If you can hear your toilet trickling constantly or if it’s just not flushing as it should, contact a plumber for toilet repair.

Need Heating and Cooling Help? Steve’s Plumbing & Heating Has You Covered

Whether you’re looking for ways to make your home more energy efficient or your HVAC system needs repairs, at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating, we’re always here to help. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, our team is on call, so whenever you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! If you live in or near Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Marshfield, or Wausau and would like to learn more about our services, feel free to contact our team for more information or to schedule your service appointment. Or, if it’s more convenient, you can always request your estimate online!