With today’s economy hitting working families the hardest, many families are trying to find ways to slash their utility bills and governments are trying to find alternative sources of energy that are also renewable. One of the best ways that you can slash your own utility bills is by choosing a provider that offers an alternative source of energy. Solar energy is a great choice and can be utilized for warming your home, while the option of geothermal can be used for both heating and cooling. If you cannot make a switch to an alternative source of energy, there are steps you can take within your home to help cut your monstrous electricity bills.
Creative Commons Photo by Tim Norris
Cover Your Vents
In your home, you most likely have rooms that are not used as much as other rooms, or even at all. One of the simplest ways to cut your utility bills is to isolate these rooms off from the rest of your home. In order to do this, you simply close the vents in those rooms. Sometimes, however, these vents may not close all the way. In this case, you can purchase covers for these vents. These covers are made of a durable plastic that keeps heat from coming out through the ventilation system. Then, once the covers are in place, simply close the door to that room and keep it closed. This effectively lessens the square footage of your home that must be heated. The smaller the area that needs to be heated, the lesser you will pay on this bill.
Believe it or not, your windows are the worst energy wasters in your entire home. If your windows do not seal properly, heat escapes out through the cracks causing your furnace to click on over and over again. Make sure that your windows fit tightly into the frame and you can significantly cut your heating and cooling costs regardless of what season it is. It may seem like a small change, but your savings will truly add up.
Creative Commons Photo by Garrett Coakley
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Keeping your home heated during the cold winter months will account for about fifty percent of your utility bills. While having a warm abode is a necessity during this time of year, surprisingly, you do not have to keep it heated all of the time. If there are parts of the day when no one is home, such as the children are at school or you are at work, programmable thermostats can be installed to heat your home only when it needs to be. You simply have to program the thermostat to shut off your heating system during the times when no one is there and have it programmed to come back on shortly before you will all be returning home. If you can slash between four to six hours off of your utility bill each day, you will quickly see the savings add up. Savings like this could add up to your family being able to take that long awaited holiday that you have wanted to take for years.
If it seems that your utility bills are getting out of control, it could mean that there is something wrong with your home. It would not hurt to obtain an energy audit. The auditor will come out to inspect your home and identify the problem areas. This way, you can fix what is wrong before it is too late and before you have spent thousands in heating and cooling expenses.