Easy Ways to Cut Your Utility Bill
Whether it’s the bitter cold of winter, or the sweltering heat of summer, your HVAC system is probably working overtime for the worst of those months. That means it’s burning a hole in your wallet... unless you know some of the simple ways you can lower your financial burden.
Do a sweep of your home. Whether you’re too busy or too lazy, it doesn’t matter: we all forget about lights and fans when we leave a room. Sometimes, you end up with most of the house lit up and you’re not quite sure how. Try to make it a habit to do a sweep through your house before bed and before you leave for work in the morning. It’s especially important if you have children.
Set your water heater to the right temperature. Most homes only need a water heater to be set to 120 degrees, even though some manufacturers have the default setting at 140 degrees fahrenheit. Not only does it pose a risk for burning, that extra 20 degrees can cost you as much as $60 more a year, according to The Environmental Protection Agency. Consider turning your water heater off or down if you go away for an extended period of time.
Timing is everything. Your furnace and water heater don’t need to be working while you sleep. So, consider installing a timer on them so they are off while you sleep and turn back on in plenty of time for your morning shower.
Unplug electronics. Electrical products don’t need to be in use to be costing you money. If you leave things plugged in, you’re throwing money away. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household spends about $1,900 on energy costs every year. The Department of Energy estimates that as much as 10 percent of your electrical costs are accounted for by devices that are left plugged in 24 hours a day. You’ll never look at your toaster the same way again!
Replace air filters each month. While monthly replacement of your air filters isn’t a strict rule, it’s not only a great way to save money, but it will keep your indoor air cleaner. If you leave dirt air filters in place, they restrict the airflow which make the AC work harder and longer, hence using more energy.
Your HVAC system may need to be replaced. Advances are being made all the time, making heating and cooling homes more efficient than ever.