Why Are Your Utilities So Expensive?
Gas bill. Electric bill. Water bill. Let’s be honest; you’ve probably noticed the costs of those ticking higher and higher over the years, but why is it getting so exorbitantly high?
There are some simple things you and your family may be doing in your household that could be driving up how much money leaves your bank account each month.
Home Insulation and Heating
Few household tasks consume more energy than keeping away the wintertime chills. The truth is little issues with sealing windows and doors could actually be driving your gas or electric bill higher. The bad seal allows for an air leak that lets energy seep out. Be sure to take caulk to windows and doors where you notice colder air slipping through in the winter months.
If you have an HVAC system for cooling and heating, you may want to take a look at your ductwork or have an HVAC professional investigate for you if there are any leaks in your heating, ventilation, or air conditioning ducts that could be hurt the efficiency of the system. This puts more stress on air conditioners or a heating system, leading to potential mechanical failures and burnout in the long run. That’s an even greater burden to your wallet than a larger heating bill.
In the winter months, we are quick to crank up the thermostat and send it in the opposite directions in the summer to get the air conditioning going. However, setting your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees while you’re out of the house can actually help out your bottom line. A programmable thermostat can also come in handy to lower the heater when you’re away.
The Water Bill
While there is nothing like a nice, long, hot shower, that could be sending the cost of your water bill skyrocketing. The longer you take, the more stress you put on your water heater, driving up your energy costs. Beyond cutting down your time in the shower, invest in an energy-efficient shower head that limits water waste. Looking into Energy Star or energy-efficient appliances doesn’t hurt in general to ease up on your costs.
It’s a good idea to check your fixtures to make sure no leaks or drips contribute to wasted H2O. That leaky faucet that drips at night could waste gallons of water over a given year. Also, your water heater can be hurting your bottom line by being too hot. Most heaters have a default temp of 140 degrees. By dropping that down 20 degrees, you can actually reduce your water heating costs by 10 percent.
The Electric Bill
At this point, you’re looking at the amount due on your utility bills and are thinking about how living in an RV compares in pricing to homeownership. While RVing is fun for getaways to campsites and various destinations, don’t give up on bringing down your utility costs just yet.
Of course, you may find yourself turning on the lights in the house in the middle of the day, when you have sunlight shining through. That’s helping to drive up the cost of your electric bill. Eliminate the need to use lighting fixtures when there is enough natural light. When you turn on the lights, consider opting for energy-friendly lightbulbs, like compact fluorescent bulbs or LED. You can also utilize dimmer switches to save on electricity and even help set a mood.
If you have your air conditioner plugged into a power strip along with your TV and other appliances, be sure to consider smart power strips that cut off the current of power when nothing is plugged into an outlet. This will help spare a lot of money in the long run and can let you prioritize when it is time to raise the indoor temperature with that space heater of yours.