5 Simple Ways to Cut Utility Payments
If you’re like most homeowners, utility payments make up a sizeable chunk of your monthly budget. The good news is that with some simple tweaks to your home and lifestyle, it’s possible to reduce the amount you pay for gas, electric, water, and other utilities. Here are five simple strategies to try.
Insulate Your Attic
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that most of a home’s heat escapes through the attic due to poor insulation in that area. Installing fiberglass insulation in the attic, which is an easy and affordable DIY project, can save you up to 20 percent in heating and cooling bills according to Energy Star. If your bill is $200 per month, that’s $40 back in your pocket a month and almost $500 a year.
Turn Off Appliances
We’re all in the habit of leaving our electronics plugged in, but doing so is a big waste of energy. Experts estimate that 75 percent of energy use by home electronics like computers and TVs (as well as some kitchen appliances) occurs when they are plugged in but turned off. For an easy fix, use a power strip and get in the habit of switching it off when you’re not using these items.
Install a Low-Flow Shower Head
If water bills are getting you down, a low-flow shower head is a simple fix that can reduce hot water usage from 3.5 gallons per minute to 1.5 gallons per minute during a hot shower. These fixtures cost less than $10 and can be easily installed yourself, meaning you’ll experience savings in a matter of minutes.
Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
The Department of Energy estimates that taking this step can save you up to 10 percent on heating and cooling bills by automatically reducing energy use when you’re away from home.
Redo Your Roof
Damaged, outdated, or insufficient roofing maintenance is often responsible for the loss of heat through (or absorption into) the attic and house. Besides that, poor roofing can lead to structural damage that can get expensive to repair and render the home dangerous to occupants. If it’s been more than ten years since your last service, or if you’re dissatisfied with the most recent service you’ve had, submit a request for a free roofing estimate, and we’ll see if we can’t help save you some money.
In addition to these five steps, learn whether your utility company will do a free energy audit (or read up on the process and conduct your own). By finding out where your home is using energy inefficiently, you can make changes that can save major money.