When you realize that your utility bill is approaching your car payment on the monthly budget, something clearly needs to be done.
Utility costs are climbing higher every single year and it seems like there is no end in sight. Many places are in a situation where one or two companies has a stranglehold on providing services which creates a problem…very little control over what is charged to keep your lights on.
Utility bills are out of control, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. You do have some control over how much you pay on your utility bill.
Here are some things you can do to slow that monster down:
Have an energy audit done – Strangely, many people are not aware of how prevalent these services are. Virtually every energy company has people on the payroll whose sole job is to educate people on how they can plug energy drains in their homes. Call your local company and set up an appointment for them to come and check out your home. They can literally save you hundreds of dollars by sometimes making fixes for free. You have absolutely nothing to lose by trying.
Walk the perimeter of your home – Most people don’t understand that it is a common sense problem. Utilities provide us with some very basic needs…heating and cooling being primary needs. When your heat is on, you want the warm air staying inside. When your air is on, you want the cool air staying inside. Likewise, you want to keep the hot/cold air out. If you have holes in your siding, foundation or windows, you are allowing your money to fly out coming and going. Make the easy fixes and plug holes and cracks around the outside of your home. Then go inside and do the same.
Inspect your doors and windows – Without a doubt, windows and doors are the two biggest problems with high energy bills. It is rare that you find windows and doors in old homes that are not letting air in and out.Tighten them up, replace them or simply caulk them to seal up those problems. Placing your hand around the cracks and edges and feeling for a draft will often reveal the problem areas.
Check the attic for proper insulation – Just as cracks will let the air out, poor insulation can cost you a fortune as well. Go up there and check for good coverage. It takes little to get things moved around and out of place. One bad insulation area can cause massive problems in an attic and with your bill.
Get dirty under that crawl space – It stinks but if you have a crawl space, checking it out for leaks, drips, cracks and the like can make a massive difference. The good news is that cracks and that type of problem are readily identifiable once you are under the home. You will clearly see light shining through. Patch it up! While you are under there, inspect all of your pipes and look for leaks.
Finally, change your personal philosophy – The vast majority of homes pay little attention to energy consumption. Your home might be the exception, but I dare say there are areas where even you can improve. We all have weaknesses…leaving lights on, not stopping that running toilet, heating a home that is empty for the weekend…you get the idea. Make a family wide commitment to change and then stick with it.
There are all kinds of things you can do to slow down those energy bills, but you have to be willing to make the changes. Do the work and put in the time, and you will quickly start to see a difference in how much you have to pay.