Blog Post

Debt

Saving Money On Utility Bills 

Right now everybody wants to know about saving money on utility bills. The Texas winter weather debacle is a powerful reminder that it’s a very good idea to make sure your home is not robbing you of hard-earned money. The spikes in natural gas demand drove prices higher and people were suddenly forced to reckon with thousand-dollar-and-up utility bills.

When the power comes back on for these people, it’s entirely likely they’ll be wanting to learn how they can save money in the future with their utility bills, having been badly burned by things they didn’t see coming.

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Taking Stock Of The Home

After the initial shock of that dissipates, many homeowners and renters alike–myself included–want to double down on the efficiency of their homes to avoid losing money for preventable reasons.

My own version of this started by checking all my windows. Sure enough, mine were drafty. And it was below freezing outside when I checked, so you can imaging how that must have felt–realizing I’d been letting money literally blow away because of poorly sealed up windows.

Once I fixed that, I started looking at other things around the house; that drippy faucet suddenly had my full attention. The fact that my fridge needs to be turned up VERY high to keep my food cold means either I’ve got an overstuffed fridge (sometimes I do) OR a unit that needs to be maintained properly.

One area I was already thankfully squared away in? My thermostat. It’s one of the “smart” thermostats which have programmable timers and other functions designed to increase the energy efficiency of the home. This is an investment well worth making. If you have a “dumb” thermostat and own your own home, seriously consider one of these.

Saving Money On Utility Bills With Gadgets

One of the last things I did after fiddling with my already-fancy environmental controls (fancy for ME, this is one of the typical systems and not a “Cadillac of A/C and heating”) I immediately made the rounds of the house cleaning out the ductwork and grills, closing some and opening others to help maximize the airflow where it’s needed.

One thing I am glad I don’t have to change–most of my appliances are already those with Energy Star ratings. This is a good thing.

I don’t have any numbers to give you regarding how much all of this might save me–after all, this is a project I embarked on in the last week or two at the time of this writing. But the whole exercise left me feeling like my efficiency was on the rise and my money-wasting problems where the utilities are concerned are–with a bit of luck–fading in the background.

If you have never taken stock of your home in this way, don’t delay–you could be spending a lot more than you think unnecessarily.

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