Many folks are looking for ways to lower utility bills as the cost of living continues to rise. It is estimated that the average cost for utilities is $1,800 per year, and a frugal household can save over $500 per year by making just a few, inexpensive changes to the property. While purchasing all new energy efficient appliances would be great, not everyone can afford the initial investment, but saving money does not have to put a dent in the bank account.
Weatherizing the residence is a big first step in saving money. It is easy to buy and install weather stripping, and caulking can be used to seal off some gaps as well. If it is possible to see light through the cracks around the door it is time to change the seal, and it is an inexpensive and easy fix for any renter or homeowner. Weatherizing the ducts should be handled carefully because it can be hazardous if done improperly, but the savings with complete weatherization can be as much as 40%, and that is why so many people are doing this to lower utility bills.
Buying a programmable thermostat can save up to 20% on the next statement. Thermostats are affordably priced and make a big difference because it allows complete temperature control. It is easy to set the thermostat for one temperature when no one is home, and then set it to a comfortable temperature an hour before returning home. Nighttime temperatures are generally different than daylight hours, and setting the programmable thermostat to reflect the difference can help save the homeowner money.
Incandescent light bulbs can really cost a lot, especially when compared to the newer compact fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs can help lower utility bills by reducing energy use by over 75% and they also last up to ten times longer than a traditional bulb. The light produced by the CFL bulb is similar to the incandescent bulb, and people often prefer this type of light.
The washer and dryer use a lot of power, and there are simple steps that can save the consumer a lot of money. Start by washing clothes only in cold water, and always adjust the water level to the right size. Instead of using the dryer, try line drying the clothes outside. Remember to keep the dryer vent cleaned between the dryer and the wall to improve efficiency, and keep the trap cleaned after each load.
Solar power is another way to lower utility bills, and people are often surprised at how inexpensive it is to get started. A system does not have to be built all at once, and the homeowner can save money while stretching the initial cost over a series of purchases instead of a single one. Solar panels can produce enough energy to power a home, or it can be small enough to simply power the water heater. The consumer has complete control over the amount of power produced.
Another great way to really save money and lower utility bills is to purchase and apply window tinting to the exterior windows. It is easy to install, and the savings can be significant. The homeowner will be able to choose from an array of shades and protection levels so it is a completely customizable project. In addition, it is not necessary to cover all the windows at once so if there are budget restraints do it one pane at a time.
There are a lot of ways to lower utility bills without spending a lot of cash. Getting started is easy, and the money saved can be used to help pay for other household expenses. Consider purchasing energy efficient appliances with that new found wealth, and save even more money.