As time passes, inflation and national and global events increase costs at home, especially the costs of electric, water, telecommunication and other public utility services. Many homeowners fail to realize that to save the most money possible on home utilities they need to do more than make one change in their lives. To lower your utility bills, follow these four steps:
You can often save a lot of money simply by shopping around for a better deal. For example, check if you live in an area where you can pick an electricity supplier. With phone service, check for low-cost bundle pricing from competing companies. Once you have a list of better deals, call your current service providers and try to negotiate lower pricing on existing services or call and switch to a different companies. Also, keep in mind that utility service providers often offer discounts to members of the military, teachers, AAA card holders, retirees and low income individuals and families. That said, customers must usually ask for these discounts to receive them.
An older furnace design from even a handful of years ago typically won’t use fuel as efficiently as one found on the market today. Furnace systems and thermostats that are even older suffer from greater inefficiency because of both design and wear and tear. Find a “high-efficiency” furnace that has the “Energy Star” designation. Some companies, like L.J. Kruse Company, know that efficient furnaces can make a big difference on your bill. You can also look for the Energy Star combined with “U.S. South” if you live in the southern half of the United States, and modern sensors and other design features that make it so that the furnace uses less fuel and heats in a more steady and even fashion.
Electric wiring, plumbing and phone lines eventually wear out and cause higher bills by making your services work less efficiently. For example, older electric wiring in a circuit breaker panel can sometimes short and increase energy usage and older in-wall wiring can draw too much energy and even cause attached appliances to use more power. Leaking pipes can also increase multiple utility bills. Dripping hot water from a faucet or hot water heater tank, for example, increases both water and electricity bills.
Once you’ve updated your lines, it’s important to update the appliances attached to them. Many manufacturers have broadened their product offerings with high efficiency or “green” models. Although these products often cost more than their non-efficient counterparts, they make up the cost by saving you money over time. In addition to new appliances, consider investing in solar and geothermal systems as full or partial heating and power generation alternatives so that you don’t need to rely on the public electricity grid as much. Lastly, install devices around your home that reduce the strain on your utilities, such as automatic shut-off devices that turn off outdoor lights and landscape watering systems or indoor power outlets at a certain time of day or night.
Of course, in addition to the above, you and your loved ones should still make daily lifestyle changes to reduce utility bills. For example, turn the lights off when you leave a room, seal gaps to prevent seasonal heat or cool air loss and turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. By combining all of the methods outlined in this guide, you can save a lot of money. Start today to see the savings on your next bill.