Are you tired of expensive utility bills and frustrated by the cost of owning a house? Here are four simple ways you can stop wasting money around your home.
1. HVAC Systems
With the amount of new technology out there, our home’s HVAC systems are benefiting from the various “smart” thermostats on the market. Most can link with a phone app or your home’s other smart technology so that you can check and make changes no matter where you are. Programming your thermostat to turn down the heat in winter while you are away at work or on vacation is a great way to save dollars on your heating bill. Likewise, with the air conditioning—why cool the house when you’re not there?
2. Water Efficiency
Monitoring your household water use is an easy way to cut down on expenses with minimal effort. Hot water is especially expensive. Consider a time limit on daily showers and use the cold cycle more often when doing a load of laundry. If you have the budget for a few upgrades, water-efficient items like toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers, as well as low-flow faucets and shower heads, can save enough money in a few years time to offset the purchase cost.
3. Turn the Lights/Power Off
Do you forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room? Do you have multiple cords plugged in even when you aren’t using them? Flipping the switch and unplugging cords will lower your electricity bill, also saving you from having to replace light bulbs often or using what’s called “phantom power” when a cord is plugged in, but not turned on.
Place a few power bars around areas like the kitchen, entertainment unit, or office, and turn them off when the items aren’t in use. Reducing phantom power could save you around $100 a year. Invest in energy-efficient light bulbs and look on your next energy bill to see where you might be using electricity during peak hours.
4. Letting in the Cold
Sealing up a drafty home isn’t as hard as most people think and won’t break the bank, either. Light a candle or incense in rooms where you suspect drafts and see which way the flame or smoke is leaning. Sometimes you just need to use your hand to tell where outside air is coming in. Baseboards, window and door frames, and the space behind electrical boxes are some common culprits.
Use weather stripping at the bottom of exterior doors, paint-able latex caulk around windows, doors, and baseboards—or for bigger drafts, start with expandable foam to get in any major gaps, then cut and caulk over top of the area. You could save up to 20% in overall heating and cooling costs per year.
These are easy, simple things you can do right away to start saving money on energy costs. It may seem like small potatoes, but when you get rid all of the small ways you are wasting money around the house, the savings can really add up.