Maintaining a household can be costly. Especially now, when the economy is struggling, every penny counts. According to a National Association of Home Builders report, the average U.S. household spends about $2,200 per year on energy bills alone. There are, however, a few simple ways to keep your home costs low. You can save hundreds of dollars annually by making a few changes around your house.
1. Insulate your home
One of the best ways to keep your energy bills low is to ensure your home is well insulated. Check the insulation in your attic and walls to ensure it’s up to par. You can also install weather-stripping around your doors and windows to seal any drafts. Some utility companies even offer free home energy audits to help you determine where your home is losing heat.
If you live in an older home, you may want to consider upgrading your insulation. Newer homes are often better insulated than older ones. Check with your local building department to see if there are any energy-efficiency requirements for new construction in your area.
2. Shop around for the best deals on utilities.
Compare rates from different providers and switch to the one that offers the best deal. Some companies offer fixed-rate electricity plans to save you money on your energy bills. You can also take advantage of government programs like the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to help low-income families with their energy bills.
You can also work with electrical companies like Staco Electric that offer renewable energy plans like solar power installation. This is a great way to save money on your energy bills while also helping the environment. Ask your utility provider about solar power rebates and tax credits in your area.
3. Use energy-efficient appliances.
Appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators use a lot of energy. Choose appliances with an Energy Star label to ensure they meet energy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy. These appliances use 10-50% less energy than other models, so they’ll save some dollars on your energy bills in the long run.
If you already have new appliances, you can check to see if they have energy-saving features like automatic shut-off or a delay start. You can also save energy by unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. This simple change can save you up to $100 per year on your energy bills.
4. Use natural lighting.
Take advantage of natural sunlight during the daytime to light up your home. Open the curtains and let the sunshine in. You can also install skylights to brighten up dark rooms. Not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint.
Some homes are designed to take advantage of natural lighting. If you’re building a new home or renovating your current one, consider using solar panels or solar tube skylights. You can also install reflective roofs to redirect sunlight into your home. This is a great way to reduce your energy consumption and keep your home costs low.
5. Reduce water usage.
Water is essential to daily life, but it’s also one of the most expensive utility bills. You can save money on your water bill by making a few simple changes around your home. Fix any leaks in your plumbing and install low-flow showerheads and toilets. You can also install a water-saving device on your clothes washer.
Newer homes are usually designed with water-saving features like dual-flush toilets and drought-resistant landscaping. You can have them installed in your home, or you can choose to live in a water-efficient community. These features can help you save up to 50% on your water bill.
6. Use a programmable thermostat.
Heating and cooling account for a large portion of your energy bill. You can save money on your energy bills by using a programmable thermostat to control the temperature in your home. They let you set a schedule for when you want your home to be heated or cooled. For example, you can set the thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re not home or turn up the AC when you’re asleep.
If you really want to save money, you can also use fans instead of air conditioners. They use less energy and can be just as effective at cooling your home.
These are just a few simple tips to help keep your home costs low. Making a few changes around your house can save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Always look for ways to save energy, water, and money. It’s good for your wallet and the environment.