For any homeowner, utility costs are one of the most substantial expenses you face. As more and more electronic devices come into homes, it seems that utility bills will only continue to increase. For all the new power-hungry devices, however, there are still ways to save on your monthly utility bill, by making just a few simple adjustments.
Keep an Eye on Your Thermostat
The single biggest user of energy in your home is your HVAC system. No matter how efficient your system is, it still draws a significant amount of power. Any positive change in this area can pay big dividends. That said, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what you have your thermostat set at, and then adjust it up or down, depending on the season. In the winter, try to keep your thermostat between 62 and 72, depending on the time of day and if people are home or not. In the summer, try not to go any lower than 78, and that only when you’re home.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Proper care of your HVAC system, including furnace maintenance in the winter, and air conditioning maintenance in the summer, is one of the best steps you can take to clamp down on the energy hog that is a properly heated and cooled home. A trained technician can diagnose any trouble areas, make sure the units are clean, and ensure that refrigerant levels are where they need to be. According to Classic Air, preventing HVAC issues is far better than dealing with them after they develop into more serious problems later. If you don’t maintain your system, you’ll not only have higher energy costs, but you may also have to replace your system sooner than you’d expected.
Seal the Cracks
Your windows and doors, while obviously necessary, also allow an unnecessarily high amount of outside air in, thus causing your HVAC system to work harder. By feeling around windows and doors for areas that are particularly cold or warm, you can use weather stripping and caulk to plug the cracks and ensure the air you paid to heat or cool stays right where it’s supposed to.
Replace Old Appliances
Sometimes, a high utility bill can be indicative of old, inefficient appliances. Refrigerators are an especially problematic device, as they run 24/7/365. Look for Energy-Star certified appliances, as you can be sure they will immediately start saving you energy and money. Many times, local utility companies will offer rebates for replacement of old appliances, as well.
Turn Out the Lights
Sometimes, just turning out the lights is all it takes to make a difference on your monthly utility bill. If you’re bad at this, install switches with sensors that automatically turn lights off when you’re not in a room for an extended period. Also, put outdoor lights on sensors to ensure they turn off as soon as the sun comes up.
Saving energy doesn’t have to be hard, or expensive. With a few easy steps, you can finally take control of your monthly energy bill, instead of it controlling you.