Five Ways Families Can Cut Utility Costs

Five Ways Families Can Cut Utility Costs

Costs keep going up and up. This is true for food, fuel, and frequently, utility bills as well. Fortunately, there are many steps families can take to reduce utility costs, thus easing pressure on their budgets. Often, reducing utility costs will require an investment. You might need to install a new water heater or thermostat, for example. Yet in the long run, by saving on utilities, you may recoup your investment and then some.

Further, energy-efficient homes may fetch more on the market when it comes time to sell. Potential buyers may factor in the money they’ll save in utility costs and thus may be willing to pay more. Beyond costs, reducing your environmental footprint can help make society a better place.

Replace an Outdated Water Heater

These days, it’s easy to take hot water for granted. Yet go back a few hundred years, and hot water was essentially only for the rich or an occasional treat for everyone else. These days, water heaters make it easy to access hot water on demand. Yet water heaters can use a lot of natural gas or electricity, depending on your setup.

Fortunately, like many other technologies, water heaters have become more efficient over the years. By replacing an old water heater, you can often cut down on utility costs. In some cases, a new water heater will practically pay for itself over time. Meanwhile, you still get to enjoy hot showers.

Keep a Close Eye on the Plumbing

Many folks focus on electricity when it comes to cutting utility costs. Certainly, electricity consumption deserves plenty of attention. However, water and sewage can cost quite a bit as well. If you have a toilet that’s running or a faucet that’s leaking, it could raise your water and sewage bills.

Often, fixing a leaking faucet or malfunctioning toilet is relatively simple. You might hire a plumber to do the work, but if you’re handy with your hands, you may be able to fix the drips and leaks yourself. A few minutes of work could result in substantial savings in the long run.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Leaving the AC or heat on full blast while you’re at work or otherwise away can waste a lot of electricity. At the same time, coming home to a house that’s too hot or too cold can be rather unpleasant. In the past, some homeowners left their HVAC systems running all day. Others shut off the heat or AC and then dealt with some discomfort when they got home.

These days, you can set up a smart thermostat that can cool or heat your home right before you get home. This way, when you step inside, the temperature will already be comfortable. Yet, because the AC or heater only kicked in a short time before you get home, you don’t have to waste energy running the system all day.

Pay Attention to Your Windows

Insulation is crucial for reducing utility bills. A well-insulated home will typically cost less to heat or cool than a similar home with poor insulation. Some of the biggest culprits when it comes to insulation are the windows. Well-insulated windows can greatly improve the overall insulation of the home. This means you’ll have to use less energy keeping your home at the desired temperature.

Set Up Solar Panels

It’s now possible to set up renewable energy right at home. This can reduce your reliance on the grid, and if you generate excess electricity, it may even be possible to sell it back to the local power company. Of course, the sun doesn’t always shine, so you likely won’t be able to rely on solar for all your energy.

Still, solar panels can reduce your utility bills and you may not even have to change your habits. This makes it easier to maintain your current lifestyle. You can even set up home battery systems that will store energy generated by the solar panels, allowing you to tap into the electricity later.

There are many other steps you can take to reduce utility bills. It’s smart to carefully examine your bills to see what is costing the most. From there, you can devise strategies to cut costs.