If you're a homeowner, you're probably aware of the fact that your utility bills go up or down depending on how much energy you use each month. Utility bills can be for water, electricity, or fuel. But did you know there are many different ways you can cut costs on your energy bills without sacrificing your comfort? From water to fuel and electricity, each of these subsections of energy can be optimized to use the least amount possible while still allowing you to enjoy their benefits.
If you're suffering from high energy bills and would like to know how to save money in this area, let's take a look at some different tips and strategies you can put in place that will help slash your monthly energy bills.
How to Save Money on Electricity
Electricity is one of the biggest expenses for most homeowners when it comes to monthly energy bills. Not only does electricity power your lights, but it also powers your A/C unit, your appliances, and all the technology you have running in your house.
As far as your lighting is concerned, LED light bulbs are the way to go if you want to save money. They work just as well as regular light bulbs but use much less electricity. You could also lessen your lighting costs by adding some dimmer switches around your house. Dimmer switches allow you to control your bulbs' brightness, which means you can turn them down a bit whenever you don't need them on full brightness.
If you really want to lower or even eliminate your energy costs, you could have some solar panels installed. Whether you decide to go with large panels or smaller solar panel shingles interwoven into your roof, either option will generate electric power for you. This means you won't have to rely on an electric company for most of, or any, of your electricity. Solar panels require an upfront investment but tend to pay themselves off rather quickly.
How to Lower Your Water Bill
When it comes to water, things like washing machines, showers, dishwashers, and sprinkler systems will make up the bulk of your bill. You can choose only to wash big loads of laundry rather than many smaller loads if you want to save water. You could also make sure your sprinkler system is on a timer that only puts out as much water as your lawn needs to stay healthy, and not a drop more.
Another way to save is to invest in ENERGY STAR rated appliances that don't use as much water. For example, an ENERGY STAR dishwasher could cost you only $35 per year and save over 3,800 gallons of water in the process. Low-flow showerheads and faucets are one more way to cut back on water usage.
How to Lower Your Gas Bill
Most households in North America have a furnace that runs on gas and electricity. This is used to heat your home whenever it's below a comfortable temperature. What most homeowners don't realize, however, is that insufficient insulation is causing them to run their furnaces longer than necessary.
If your home is suffering from leaky ductwork, improper insulation, damaged or missing soffits, or leaky doors and windows, your house will lose heat at a much higher rate. This loss of heat causes your furnace to stay on longer and turn on more often, which runs up your gas bill as well as your electricity bill.
Installing a new soffit around the underside of the edge of your roof can help prevent heat from escaping from the top of your home. Ensuring your attic is adequately insulated and having a roof underlayment installed will also help reduce heat leakages near the top of your home, where heat tends to rise.
Having a house wrap installed beneath your exterior siding will also control leaks and help provide an airtight space that makes it hard for heat or cool air to escape. You might also consider installing ENERGY STAR rated windows that are designed to prevent air leaks.
Another problem many homeowners are dealing with is leaky ductwork. The tubes and piping that carries your conditioned air throughout your home are often sprinkled with little leaks, gaps, and holes that allow heated or cooled air to escape into places you don't need it. By sealing up these leaks with tape or mastic, you can save a lot of money on your air conditioning and heating bills. You could also call a professional HVAC team to come in and perform a much more comprehensive assessment of your ductwork.
They can hook your HVAC system up to a computer that tests for and identifies leaks before spreading a special mastic sealant throughout your ductwork and sealing every last leak with almost no cleanup involved. This is one of the most effective ways to save money on your heating and cooling costs.
There Are Many Different Ways to Save Money On Your Energy Bills
Your home uses energy in a lot of different ways. If you aren't paying attention, that fuel usage can add up to big monthly costs that put a serious drain on your finances. By implementing the tips we've discussed in this article, you can fight back against rising energy bills and save yourself a lot of money.
Remember to lower your electricity costs by using LED light bulbs, dimmer switches, and even installing a solar panel or two if you can afford the investment. To save on water, wash bigger loads of laundry on a less frequent basis and buy an ENERGY STAR rated dishwasher that only costs $35 a year to use. Low-flow showerheads are another option as well.
To lower your gas bill and save money on your heating and cooling costs, consider fixing your HVAC ductwork either on your own or with the help of professional HVAC technicians. This, combined with ENERGY STAR rated windows, a new soffit, attic insulation, a roof underlayment, and a house wrap, will provide you all the airtightness you need to avoid wasting money on heating and cooling.
Lowering your monthly energy bills isn't hard. It just requires a little know-how and a willingness to invest now so you can save money all day, every day in the future.