It doesn’t matter if it’s the dead of winter or the dog days of summer: when it comes to the cost of utilities, it can feel like you’re in a never-ending, year-round battle with your utility company. The loser in that conflict? You—and your wallet.
In the summer, most people just accept it as a fact that they will have to pay more for their sweet, sweet air conditioning. Conversely, staying warm in the winter just means that you’ll have to pay to crank that heat. However, doing so shouldn’t mean you have to accept those sky-high electric bills.
There are a few easy tricks that you can do around your home to save a small fortune on the cost of your utilities. Here are some of the best ones!
1. Set your hot water heaters: You might not know it, but you can manually set the limits of your hot water. Set them for no higher than 120 degrees instead of the usual 140 degrees. This will still kill bacteria and make for a warm shower—without costing you a fortune.
2. Use your fans: Sure, your air conditioner is a great resource, but you can save money by running it on low and letting your fan help distribute the cold air. It’s a simple way to stay cool without shelling out a fortune!
3. Use your thermostat: These days, it only takes a thermostat just five minutes to get the temperature in your home where you’d like it to be. Keeping that in mind, you can easily save a fortune by turning your AC to 78 degrees before you leave the house for the day. Why cool the house when you’re not in it?
4. Get an energy audit: Many companies will offer to provide you with a completely free energy audit, and you should take them up on it! This is a great way to make sure you aren’t wasting money or resources.
5. Consider the sunlight: If you’re spending a lot of money when it comes to cooling your home, you might want to invest in light-blocking shades or blinds. Keeping out the sun will cut back on your cooling costs. The opposite is true if you want to trap warm air—and block chilly drafts—in the winter!
6. Get an HVAC service contract: You should definitely think about hiring an HVAC maintenance company to prepare your AC for the summer (and your furnace for the winter). This sort of regular maintenance saves a lot of money in the long term!
7. Give your air conditioning unit room to breathe: Resist the temptation to camouflage your outdoor unit with landscaping or shrubbery. In order to keep it functioning well, it needs at least a full foot of space all around it!
8. Clean your AC filters: Having dirty air conditioning filters makes your machine work a whole lot harder than it should! To save on costly repairs, remember to replace the filters at least once every three months.
9. Clean your vents: It isn’t just your air conditioning’s actual filters that need to be replaced. Keep an eye on the vents in your house, too. If they get clogged with dust or debris, it puts an added strain on your system.
10. Check and fix your windows: Did you know that bad insulation or cracked caulking around your windows can cost as much as an additional 10 percent on your energy bill? Make sure you keep those windows in good repair.
It’s amazing how all these seemingly little things add up to such tremendous savings on your utility bills. If you take care of the equipment around your home, it will take care of you for years to come!
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