For many families, utility bills sneak up at the end of the month and force them to make tough decisions just to keep the utilities on. That’s no way to live life and there has to be a way to lower the cost.
If your family is consistently stressed over utility bills and trying to budget your expenses each month, then you need to come up with a plan that allows you to save money without totally shifting your lifestyle.
Here are a few clever ideas:
1. Install Solar Panels
“Each month, your electric bill is probably one of the most expensive bills you receive in the mail,” Trinity Solar points out. “But what if there was something you could do to shave hundreds – possibly even thousands of dollars off your electric bill each year? Thanks to solar panels there is.”
While solar panel technology has been available to homeowners for a while now, it’s finally become cost-effective. The rising cost of electricity from traditional power sources combined with federal and state incentives means you can break even in just a matter of months. If you’re looking for a major source of savings, solar panels are worth a look.
2. Recycle Water
Recycling is one of the key tenets of sustainability, but when it comes to water it can also mean major savings. “Some water recycling methods are simple and require little in the way of re-plumbing. More ambitious water recycling schemes can involve re-plumbing your home, but can lead to more significant long-term savings,” expert Karin Mangan says.
If you want to try some of the more ambitious water recycling schemes, more power to you. But in all likelihood, you’ll find it more practical to try simple techniques like collecting water in a bucket while the shower warms up (and using it to water plants) or collecting rainwater (and using it to wash your car).
3. Use a Smart Thermostat
Many homeowners are wasting thousands of dollars a year on heating and cooling costs because they’re running their systems around the clock – even when nobody’s home. Well, with a smart thermostat, you can increase your home’s efficiency by making smarter choices.
A smart thermostat allows you to control temperatures and cycles based on your home’s habits. So, in the winter you can keep the temperature warm in the morning, cycle it down when you’re at work and have it automatically cycle on right before you get home. Simple little things like this can equal major savings.
4. Improve Insulation
During the summer months, windows are a major problem area for your home (in terms of efficiency). There are two major things you can do to avoid problems:
- The first step is to caulk between the window and the wall. This will eliminate those small gaps that let cool air escape. In older homes, you can see major savings on your utility bill from caulking alone.
- The second step is to cover your windows during the daytime. Even if your windows are caulked and all air gaps are sealed, the sun still shines through the glass panes and heats up the rooms inside (which increases your cooling costs). Planting trees and shrubs on the outside can help, along with using curtains and blinds inside.
Caulking also helps in the winter by keeping cold air out, so make sure you’re taking care of your windows as soon as possible.
Start Saving Money Today
High utility bills can increase your monthly expenses and ruin any form of a budget you previously had. The good news is that you can do things to lower your costs and save money. Consider these four ideas and do some research to find out which ones will help you most.
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