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Friday, September 14, 2018

How to Decrease your Utility Bill

*this is a sponsored article

Do you ever feel like you're spending way too much on utilities? The way the weather changes here in Utah we often go from AC to heat in the same day and sometimes back and forth a few times. We don't seem to have much of a break so I am definitely paying attention to these tips. 

Steps to Cut Your Utility Bill in Half
by Alek Sabin

When you add up your monthly expenses, does you utility bill take you by surprise? Once you tack it onto your mortgage, car payment, and Netflix, your utilities can add up to quite the hit in the pocketbook. Worst of all, the amount of money you spend on electricity, gas, and water probably varies considerably, month-by-month, depending on the season. This is because you are using more on certain months (more electricity when it’s hot or more gas when it’s cold), and also because gas and electric companies actually change their rates pretty regularly (because who’s going to stop them?)

However, it’s also somewhat good news that your utility bill is such a variable, because it means there are lots of ways that you can lower it on your own. If you’re looking to save a little bit more money, and are looking at your budget wondering how to do so, then an extra bundle of cash cut out of your utilities is going to be pretty nice. Here are some steps to cut your utility bill in half…

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Modern homes typically have modern thermostats that can be programmed to make your climate control system much more efficient. Even if you live in an older home, a smart thermostat is well-worth the cost. A programmable thermostat enables you to set specific temperatures for certain times of day, and to have the system work to bring the temperature up or down at variable amounts, depending on how hot or cold it is outside.

In addition, using your thermostat to only heat or cool your home when you are actually there, or only when you are awake, means that you will be using far less gas and electricity throughout the day. By simply being smart about what times your home is being heated and cooled, you can shave a tenth of your monthly energy bill.

Plan for a Cool Home

Running the air conditioner all summer is a quick way to make your electric bill skyrocket. In addition to using that programmable thermostat, there are many other ways to make your home cooler, without having to use as much electricity. Oftentimes, this just takes a little bit of forethought and planning. Sometimes, this is long-term planning, such as growing trees in practical spots that will shade your home, over time. Other times, this requires short-term planning, such as opening your windows early in the morning to let the cold air run through your home. For more ideas, here is a nifty article about some different ways to keep your home cool during the summer.

Insulation Is Crucial

Few things are adding up on your utility bill like the costs of heating and cooling your home. Indeed, that’s almost certainly the largest portion of your utility payments, by far. In order to combat these mounting expenses, you need to spend some money upfront on making sure that your home is properly insulated. This means that you’re spending less energy to get your home to the particular temperature that you want. There are a wide variety of ways to do this, but the most important way is to insulate your walls and attic. You can affordably do this by using recycled insulation materials, which also are much better for the environment, in addition to be a financially smart decision for your home.

Don’t Forget Your Vehicle!

The fuel you put in your car counts as a utility cost, as well. Because of that, when calculating your utility costs every month, you need to consider how much gas you are using in your vehicle. When you do this, you can strategize ways to spend less on that gas, such as using your car less, using loyalty deals to get lower prices on gasoline, and getting a more fuel efficient car. We often think of our home’s as an investment, but we should also think of our car more in that way, so that we can get the most of our money.

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