Your Utility Bills are unavoidable. We use heat, electricity, water, and even gas. They are essential for us to live today, but prices just seem to increase again and again. Working to offset those utility bills is one of the best things you can do for your lifetime budget. Start today, and you can start saving hundreds, then thousands down the line as you continue to save month after month.
There are big-budget options available, but there are also budget-friendly opportunities at your disposal that will allow you to reduce energy usage and consumption. With some options, you may even be able to sell excess energy back to the grid.
There are many options, but the top eight that will help you see the biggest reduction in energy usage and your utility bills costs are:
1. Seal Any Air Leaks
It is a great idea to check your home for any drafts or cracks along the interior or exterior walls. These can be nothing more than the building settling, but get them checked out for any structural concerns and get them sealed. Cracks, especially ones that let in cold air, can make it hard for your home to stay nice and cozy. Other cracks along the exterior wall can let in water that may freeze and expand, worsening problems as they go on.
Fixing these issues is often very easy and can make a small difference towards lowering your utility bills. As for your home, consider this an essential maintenance step to keep your home safe and structurally sound.
2. Replace or Update Old Windows
Double glazing and triple glazing work wonders to keep air from transferring between window panes, but it isn’t the glass that is keeping the cold air out; it’s an inert gas that is put between the window panes.
This gas is non-toxic and completely safe, so you don’t need to worry about it leaking out, with the exception that it means your windows are becoming less effective.
This gas can leak out over time because of a break in the seal and many other reasons. This doesn’t happen fast, but if the home and windows are between 15 to 20 years, you should think about getting them replaced. The expected lifetime of modern windows is between 20 to 25 years, so you won’t have to worry about them again, but if your windows are old, feel cold, or have water damage around them, it is time to upgrade them.
3. Update the Insulation for Problematic Areas
If your house still feels cold or damp, bring in a consultant to inspect your home and to check for any areas that are hot spots – literally. These areas will be allowing hot air to escape, and therefore driving up your utility bills at the same time.
4. Use Rugs, Tapestries, and Curtains
A great way to improve your interior design and insulation is by using rugs, tapestries, and curtains properly. Curtains, in particular, are perfect for those that cannot afford to replace their doors or windows. By just choosing a thick, heavy fabric option and installing them over your doors and windows, you can create a better seal that holds cold air by the windows and doesn’t let the warmth in your rooms to escape.
5. Invest in a Solar Solution
A truly great way to reduce your energy costs is to produce your own energy. Combined with an insulated home and with energy-efficient tools, you can cut down on energy costs significantly. If you live in a sunny state, the savings potential is massive.
The upfront cost is a concern to many homeowners, but with so many incentives and financial support, you can cut down the cost and start saving up to $90 per month on electricity.
Investing in a Custom Solar and Leisure Tucson solar system, for example, will qualify you for a 30% federal tax credit and Arizona’s state tax credit of up to $1000 per household. Combined, you can save big on your solar solution through your taxes.
6. Invest in a Smart Home
Use only the energy and water that you need with a smart home system. Choose the smart home features carefully, as some brands will try to force you into only using their products, while others work interchangeably with other brands.
Adding smart lights and a smart thermostat at the very least will help you only use lighting and heating when you actually need it and can make it easier to stay warm and comfortable while saving money and energy every single day. This is simply done by optimizing your energy usage.
7. Upgrade Appliances at the Right Time
Lights, kitchen appliances, televisions, and computers; all of these electronics have improved significantly over the years to be increasingly energy-efficient. If you have an appliance that is over a decade old, it is time to consider upgrading to a new one. This isn’t always the case, but if you notice the appliance in question tends to feel hot to the touch, it doesn’t work very well but costs you a lot to run and other similar situations, then it is time to upgrade. An overworking appliance, in particular, is a key sign that the appliance in question is costing you more than it is worth.
This tip can help you save on your electricity and your gas, depending on what appliances you upgrade.
8. Upgrade Your Taps and Showers
To save on water, however, you are going to need to think in the box. You don’t need anything special, just new taps and showerheads that work to split the water and put pressure on the stream so that you get better water pressure but use less overall. It’s the same concept of turning a hose of running water into a jet by placing your finger over the opening. By just using this simple concept for your taps and showers, you can improve water pressure and reduce the overall usage of water.