If you are a homeowner, you know all too well the large number of expenses that pop up. While some of the expenses you will encounter are unforeseen and unavoidable, you can take steps to save money on your overall cost of living, particularly as it applies to your monthly utility bills. Utility bills can burn a hole in your wallet, especially during the summers and winters when your heating and cooling demands are at their highest. To offset these necessary costs, here are some common sense solutions for lowering your electricity and gas bills. Your budget will thank you.
1. Invest in New Windows
Many homes are still fixed with their original windows, which can be a big problem if your home wasn’t built within the past five years. Older windows weren’t created with the same quality of materials we have today and don’t perform up to today’s standards. More often than not, they are drafty and capable of wasting thousands of your hard-earned dollars every year. When you invest in newer, energy efficient windows, they will eventually pay for themselves with the money you will save on heating and cooling bills.
2. Shop Around for a Utility Company
As you likely do with most other things in your life, it is a good idea to shop around when choosing a utility company. Whether it’s electricity, gas, internet, or phone service, if there is not currently a monopoly in your area forcing you to choose one company over another, explore your options to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Columbia Utilities is known for having some of the lowest rates in the industry.
3. Adjust Your Thermostat
Way too many people make a habit of keeping their homes too warm during the winter and too cool during the summer. While this may feel comfortable, the resulting energy bill will be much higher than it could be. There is substantial savings in adjusting your thermostat. During the spring and summer, it is generally recommended to keep your thermostat set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit before the cooling system should kick on. During the winter months, you can keep your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit to remain comfortable while not being forced to pay an astronomical energy bill. For even more savings during the cooler months, set your temperature a few degrees cooler at night and use winter blankets to keep warm while you sleep instead of letting the heat run.
How do you save money on your utility bills?
Top photo: eflon/Flickr