In this economy, everyone is understandably looking for ways to save money. Fortunately, saving money every month doesn't have to be complicated; in fact, it can be quite simple. There are a number of places where you can cut your costs, from downsizing your home to cutting down on entertainment expenses. However, one of the most effective and easiest ways to save a significant amount of money every month is to cut down on your utilities, namely heating and cooling. The following are some helpful ideas that should help you to accomplish just this.
Fix Any Cracks and Gaps
Almost every home has its share of leaks. Investing in some inexpensive caulk can wind up saving you a significant amount in energy costs. In fact, some research shows that leaks can account for up to a 30% increase in utility bills. When looking for leaks, pay particular attention to doors and windows as well as your cooling and heating ducts.
A drafty house can be a real money pit when it comes to energy bills. Windows are one of the biggest culprits, acting as a channel by which cold and hot air leaves your home. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder. Replacing your old windows with ones that are more energy efficient can save you a significant amount of money, depending on the number that you have replaced. In fact, you might not realize that replacing your windows could save as much as $450 a year. Homeowners who decide to replace their windows with Energy Star options may also be able to receive additional compensation in the form of federal tax credits.
Replace Your Air Filters
Air filters should be replaced once per month in order to facilitate airflow. Dirty filters require the AC to work harder, requiring more energy and more money. If you have a difficult time remembering to change your filters, make a note on your calendar on the same day every month.
Turn Electronics, Lights, and AC/Heat Off When Not Required
This is one of the most obvious and certainly the easiest way to cut back on costs. Even the smallest electronics, like phone chargers, use energy. Unplugging them or shutting them off via a power strip can significantly lower your yearly utility bills. If you're planning on leaving your home for a few days, or even a few hours, adjust the thermostat accordingly. There's no reason to spend hundreds of dollars a year to heat or cool a home when no one is in it!