How to Save Money on your Utility Bills
Insulation in Progress
Bigger isn't More Expensive
About a year ago my wife and I bought a new house. It was twice the size of our old one, so I was a bit worried about what the utilities would run when we moved in. Here are a few things we did to keep the expenses at the new house down. I think it worked, because we're paying less now than we were at the old house.
Insulation is Key
One of the corners that seems to have been cut--a lot--in the past when houses were built was adequate insulation. Insulation keeps the weather outside, where it needs to be. Both Lowe's and Home Depot have calculators online that will help you determine how much insulation you need. Bear in mind that if you live somewhere hot, you may need as much insulation as someplace really cold. You have to keep the heat and cold out. Insulation does that.
Tankless Water Heaters Make Sense
The house we bought had a water heater in the attic. I thought that was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. We replaced it with a tankless, exterior heater. If I had to do it again, I would not use an exterior model. Especially if you live anywhere with harsh winters.
However, it gives us unlimited hot water on demand. Since it only heats water when needed, it keeps both the gas and water bills to a minimum. We live in dry west Texas, which is in perpetual drought, so it makes sense.
Rheem Water Heaters
New Appliances Can Make a Difference
We'd also bought a high-efficiency washer shortly before we moved. It reduces cost by using less water. Less water reduces both water and water heating costs. While the washing times are longer than with traditional washers, the overall efficiency still makes the money come out ahead.
What is Left?
The other two major places that houses lose heat are the windows and doors. While the new house does have storm windows over the normal windows, there are a few missing that we need to replace. That should help keep costs down when done.
We also need to replace the exterior doors and add some storm doors that actually do something. As my wife Liz has pointed out, it's noticeably cooler by the doors in the winter.
LG HG Washer
Simple Things Anyone Can Do:
The easiest thing we did is something I picked up back in college when I had a very limited budget: I closed off the rooms that I wasn't using. Why pay to heat and cool the spare bedroom, formal living room, dining room, and hallway? The rooms we use, we heat and cool. When we have company, we'll open the vents in the other rooms. Until then, why pay for something we don't need? It will save you more than you expect.
Have you got some tips?
Have you got some tips to tell? Please, let us know in the comments!