Utility bills can become prohibitively expensive if your home is not energy efficient. However, many people don’t realize that there are many things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient while still being money conscious.
Your HVAC system, on average, accounts for nearly 50% of your home’s energy consumption. While it may seem like that is just something you have to deal with, that isn’t the case. There are many things you can do to help your HVAC work less hard, which in turn will lower your bill.
Here are seven money tips to help lower your utility bill.
1. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Many people take a “set it and leave it” philosophy when it comes to their thermostat. You set it to the temperature you determine to be comfortable and leave it set that way. However, there is a good chance that you don’t need it to be set at that temperature all the time. For instance, if you go to work from 9-5, the home doesn’t necessarily need to be heated or cooled the same way as it does when you are at home.
This is where a programmable thermostat comes in. You can set it to certain temperatures at specific times of the day. So, you could set it to run at your comfortable temperature when you are at home and set it differently for when you are at work. This means your HVAC won’t run as often, and you will save energy.
2. Use Blinds Efficiently
Using your windows and blinds to your advantage is just one of many HVAC tips. On sunny days, there is plenty of light coming into the home that can help heat it without using your HVAC system. Or the opposite, if it is hot in your home, close the blinds so the heat isn’t coming in. This means your HVAC doesn’t need to run so much to cool your home.
3. Insulate Your Doors
Heat and cool air can easily escape under your doors if they are not sealed and insulated correctly. While the gaps under your door and between the door and the door frame may seem small, the hot or cold air continuously escapes through the gaps. This will cause your HVAC system to run more frequently, thus running up your bill.
You could have a professional come in and get your door properly sealed and insulated, but an interim solution is to buy a door draft stopper that will at least mitigate the problem until it can be fixed.
4. Turn Off Unnecessary Water
It can be easy to just keep water running to make tasks easier, but this is causing your water bill to increase. For instance, if you are cleaning dishes, it’s easy to constantly leave the water running, but turning it off when you aren’t actively using it will help lower your water bill.
5. Unplug Electrical Appliances When Not Using Them
This is one of the simplest but hardest to remember things you can do to lower your electricity bill. Did you know that even if you are not actively using an appliance, it is still drawing energy from the power outlet? It’s true.
All those appliances that you leave plugged in all the time for convenience’s sake are drawing a lot of energy that you could be saving if you just unplug them when you are finished using them. Now, of course, certain things you don’t want to unplug, like your refrigerator or oven, but you can easily unplug your electric can opener, your blow-dryer, or your cellphone charger.
6. Fix Leaky Faucets
Another member of the guilty party for making your water bill rise is leaky faucets. While it may not seem like a huge amount of water, it is adding to your bill. Consider putting a bowl under your leaky faucet and leaving it there for a day whenever you aren’t actively using the faucet. You may be surprised to see how much water is actually dripping out of the faucet.
You can try to fix the faucet yourself, or you can call in a plumber to take a look. Either way, fixing the leak is going to save you some money on your water bill.
7. Clean or Replace Air Filters
It might not seem like a big deal, and it’s probably not something you are actively thinking about, but dirty air filters can cause big problems for your home. For one, if they are dirty, they are not actively cleaning the air that is circulating throughout your home. This means a lot more dirt and allergens will be floating around, which doesn’t make for a pleasant experience.
In addition, if your air filters are dirty, it will cause your HVAC system to work overtime. This is because it will sense the dirty air filters and try to compensate for them. This will lead to the system running much more often than it needs to, which will cause a rise in your bill.
There are a lot of little things that add up to high utility bills. Many of them are things you likely don’t think about on a daily basis but are generally things you can easily take care of. All it takes is to audit your behavior and energy usage, and you can make a plan on how to lower your utility bills.
Several things you can do to lower your utility bills are getting and programming a thermostat, using your blinds efficiently, insulating your doors, using water efficiently, unplugging electrical appliances that aren’t in use, fixing leaky faucets, and cleaning your air filters. Try to do all of those things and see how much money you save in the long run.