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Utility bills are the second most costly expense for many homeowners, second only to a mortgage. Unlike your mortgage, monthly utility bills fluctuate, rising and falling several hundred dollars a month between hot and cold seasons. Take steps to lower your home utility costs to raise your personal savings and have money to cover housing maintenance and repairs.
Small changes that turn into utility bill savings
Included among utility bills are water, sewage, trash, electric and gas services. Some jurisdictions consider telephone bills to be utility bills as well. Even in mild climates, a 1500 square foot house can use $100 a month in electricity alone.
Own a house that operates mostly off gas and you're gas bill may easily outpace your electric bill. The one area where utility bills can rise, whether your house operates mostly off of electricity or gas, regards hot water. Which leads into the first easy action that can reduce your utility bill.
Turn the temperature down on your hot water heater. You'll need to mark the current temperature setting on your hot water heater. Then, mark where you want to set the lower temperature. Measure the adjusted temperature. To save on your utility bill, you can also turn your water heater off when you're away from home for a day or longer.
Contact your utility company and schedule a review of your home. An experienced representative will come to your home and find leaks and worn filters. The representative will let you know if any appliances need to be replaced.
Keep utility bill savings going
Switch air conditioners and heaters off when you leave home for work. Use floor and ceiling fans when it's not especially hot outside. After several days, your body's internal thermostat may adjust, making it easier for you to get comfortable without turning on the air conditioner.
Close doors to rooms that you're not using. This includes the door to your attached garage.To keep more heat inside your home, open blinds and drapes. When it's hot outside, keep blinds and drapes partially closed. Also, seal windows and doors. Adding more insulation to walls and ceilings is another way to keep heat inside your home when it's cold outside.
Easiest of all the ways to save money on utility bills may be to turn water off while you shave and brush your teeth. Washing your vehicle at a public car wash saves on water. Close the freezer and the refrigerator while you're cooking. Flush the toilet after you relieve yourself, but avoid using the toilet as a trash receptacle. Each toilet flush uses approximately 1.6 gallons of water. Older toilets can use more than three times that amount with each flush.
Save $5 to$10 off each utility and you could pocket $30 or more a month. Cut back on utility usage even more and you might discover that you can do without one or more utilities. Instead of using the savings to take on new debt, invest in your future. Shift money that you save on your utility bill onto retirement accounts and bank savings.