Though we take it for granted, one of the most expensive bills we have to pay each month is for the electricity we use every day. Every time we switch on a light or turn up the air conditioning it adds a little more onto our electric bill, and over the course of four weeks that can add up to an amount we may not be prepared to pay.
Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to save money is to spend money, and this holds especially true when it comes to your electric bill. By making the commitment to invest a portion of your savings or the funds from an installment loan in a few key home improvements, you can drastically reduce your utility costs in the long-term.
Although they’ve been widely available to consumers for over a decade, many of us still haven’t switched over to LED bulbs for our lighting needs. Which is a shame, because not only do they last up to 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb, they require 80% less electricity and put off much less heat. If you don’t want to spend money to convert all of your lighting at once, start off by switching out the lights that you use the most, for example those in your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Essentially, a smart thermostat learns the temperature patterns of your house, and then begins to predict when it needs to be on or off. For example, it won’t cool the entire house while you’re at work and no one’s around, but it will learn to turn the temperature down and have your home comfortable by the time you arrive home.
If you don’t want to invest in a smart thermostat, you can also use a programmable thermostat to save money on your air conditioning costs. They’re significantly more affordable, although they require more initial effort to program and monitor. The good news is, both options could save you thousands of dollars in a few years time, so they are worth the time or investment.
Another easy way of reducing your electricity consumption is by making sure your home is properly insulated. Many structures aren’t as well insulated as they could be, which means cooling and heating escape your house quicker than they should, and your unit will have to work harder to maintain the temperature. Not only will that raise your monthly electricity bill, it also means your heating and cooling systems will age faster.
The most common places you will need to add weather stripping and caulking is to the border of windows, exterior doors, and electrical outlets and light switches. If you’re handy with tools you can also add insulation to your walls, but that’s a little more work intensive of an operation
Though your water bill is separate from your electricity bill, one place they may intersect is with your water heater. It takes electricity to heat your water, and the higher the temperature the more electricity it takes to heat and hold the water in the tank. To save money and reduce the possibility of an accidental scalding in your home, set your water heater to 120 degrees. To further reduce costs, set your washer to only use cold water for the rinse cycle, insulate your water heater pipes and opt for short showers over water-wasting baths.