How Can I Kick Winter Utility Bills To The Curb?
Winter is around the corner and the temperatures outside have already started dropping. Unfortunately, if there’s one thing summer and winter have in common it’s cranking up your utility bills.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating your living space accounts for 48% of your home’s energy bills. Of course, it can be difficult to cut costs when you’re trying to keep your home warm.
Here are a few affordable ways you can cut energy costs before the weather outside turns frightful.
Install more insulation your attic
When your heating bill is skyrocketing despite lowering your thermostat, the problem could be that your heat itself is rocketing toward the sky. Heat rises and up to 40% of a home’s heat will escape through the attic.
If you’re among the 58% of homeowners planning to spend money to improve their homes this year, consider putting that money toward insulating your attic space to keep your heat from escaping. The cost to insulate your attic depends on how much additional insulation you need and the size of the space.
Clean your air ducts
Your heating and cooling equipment becomes less efficient over time even if your HVAC system is regularly inspected throughout the year. This increases your energy bills during the colder months because your HVAC system is struggling to provide heat to the entire home.
Fortunately, you can improve heat circulation in your home without investing in a new HVAC system before winter begins. You just need to clean your air ducts.
To clean your air ducts, start by cutting off the power to your HVAC system and then unscrewing the airduct covers or grilles from the walls. Vacuum the ducts as much as you can and clean the grilles in your ceiling.
When you get rid of the dust and debris in your ducts, not only will your HVAC system be able to work more efficiently to provide heat without increasing your energy costs but the air quality in your house will also be better.
Fix minor leaks
Your electric bill isn’t the only utility you need to worry about this winter. You might feel tempted to ignore that occasional dripping coming from your faucet, but about 10% of U.S. households have leaks in their plumbing that can waste 90 gallons of water a day.
While you’re wrapping your pipes for the colder weather to prevent them from bursting, consider fixing those minor leaks to keep your water bill from sailing. Hose clamps, which you can buy at any hardware store, can help keep leaks under control until you’re able to contact a local plumber.
Every year, 45 million people move. Plenty of them to escape the cold along with the energy bills it can conjure. The thought of paying more for your energy bills can be enough to send you hibernating. But it doesn’t have to. You won’t have to be so dramatic though. By following the tips above, you can reduce your energy costs throughout the colder half the year without sacrificing a large chunk of money.