When saving for a home or keeping the costs of home ownership low, you don’t want to leave money on the table. However, some budget advice can seem onerous, especially when it comes to lowering your energy bills. If advice isn’t practical, you’re not going to take it, so here are a few simple and painless ways to lower your monthly energy bill without sacrificing creature comforts.
Heating & AC Solutions
While having a full inspection and repair of your duct system can add significant cost, there are other solutions that only cost a little time and effort. To get optimal use of your cooling and heating system, make sure nothing is blocking the vents, be it furniture or dust. Clean your filters monthly, or you’ll be spending more money to push air through your home. Seal your ducts where you can, and make sure that windows, doors, and fridges are efficiently sealed. If your fridge is leaking cold air, it may be time to clean or replace the door’s gasket. Set your fridge to 38 degrees and your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees. This will keep your food fresh, but your fridge and freezer won’t need to work as hard to maintain the temperature.
Washer & Dryer Tips
Washing your clothes in cold water doesn’t only save the colors, it also helps keep costs down. Like the dishwasher, try to do full loads to save on water usage. When your dryer finishes a load, add another one right after so it doesn’t require more energy to heat up again. You’re also better off drying at a lower heat for a longer time than a higher heat for a short time. To get your dryer more efficient and save costs on dryer sheets, invest in some wool dryer balls.
Check Your Lighting
You could save around $75 per year by swapping out the bulbs in your five most-used light fixtures with bulbs that have the Energy Star label. You’ll also spend less money replacing them, as LED bulbs tend to have a longer life. Install dimmer switches where useful. You will find that having a little more control over your lighting can bring a more soothing element to your home. Not every dinner or bedroom needs to be as illuminated as a doctor’s office.
Power Company Discounts
Many power companies will offer discounts if you run appliances after a certain time of day. You can save 5 to 25% on your bill if you run your laundry and dishwasher after dinner as opposed to before. Contact your local power company to find out time specifics. Some will even provide a complimentary power audit of your home to see where you could save money on utilities.
Little adjustments in various parts of your life can stack up to a tidy sum, giving you freedom to invest in what really matters to you. If you use your savings to pay down debt, you’re now paying less interest per month, giving you even more space in your budget. Need any other tips on saving for a home, or the homebuying process in general? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we look forward to serving you!