A home is the biggest purchase most people make. With that one-time purchase, comes many, many reoccurring expenses. It’s kind of like buying a sports car. You need to consider more than the price of the car. You must also consider what it costs to maintain.
Luckily for a home, there are plenty of ways to lower maintenance costs. With a Ferrari, you’re pretty much confined to buying a $1,000 tire. The following post shares how you can lower utility costs on your home. Let’s begin making your home more energy efficient!
1. Install LED Lighting
Lighting typically accounts for 20-30% of your electric bill. It’s a wise choice to think about your lighting options.
Incandescent bulbs use about 60 watts per bulb. The amount of wattage for an entire house (about 47 bulbs) is about 2,820 watts per month. With an LED, each bulb only uses 9.5 watts. For the entire house, that’s only 446.5 watts! Plus, most people strongly prefer the clean, bright light of an LED over an incandescent.
But LED lights are more expensive initially. It will take a while to pay for a $20 light bulb. Investments take time.
2. Check for Proper Insulation
Many houses are poorly insulated. This is a cost saving measure. Think about it… homes are built to be cheap for buyers to purchase. Few construction companies put much thought into monthly bills.
Employ better insulation to places such as the attic and garage. Installation can be done yourself using spray or lay insulation. Or you can hire a pro. Either way, you’ll win in the long run.
Even consider insulating your garage door. It’ll help the heat from your house from escaping as quickly. Plus, it’ll make the garage a little warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It’ll make you more likely to go to the garage and start other money saving DIY projects!
3. Install Dimmer Switches
Dimmer switches are for more than just setting the mood. Basically, dimmer switches save money because they are cheap, simple to install, and can be used easily. There are times when full lighting is needed – like working on a school project or having a business meeting at the kitchen table. Other times, like when eating a romantic dinner or watching movies, the lights can be adjusted. Read this article by The Home Depot to see how easily a dimmer switch can be installed.
4. Automatic Outdoor Lights
Do you ever wonder when to turn on the outside lights? In my house, it’s always an argument of, “Leave on the outside lights, Carly is coming over!” Or, “Can I shut off the outside lights? It’s 10pm!” Or, “Leave on the outside lights. I think it makes our home look safer.” All these arguments are a pain-in-the-butt. Instead, set the lights to work automatically.
You can set the outdoor lights on a timer. Or you can make them motion sensitive. My favorite is installing a trip sensor at the end of the driveway. That way, when someone comes up the driveway, the lights turn on. This is probably good for detouring burglars as well.
5. Wash Clothes in Cold Water (and Avoid the Dryer)
90% of the energy your washing machine uses is to heat the water. Avoid the heat and save 90% of your money! Cold water is also better for your clothing. Only use warm or hot water when dealing with stubborn stains.
The dyer is another money sucker. But most of us just use it out of habit. Have you ever tried not using the dryer? You should try it. You can buy a clothes rack and begin ‘line-drying’ your clothing in the house or outside. This brings your dryer cost down to zero. Plus, line-drying is easier on your clothing – making your wardrobe last longer. How’s that for good news?!
The bottom line is there are many ways to save on utility bills. Some you’ll want to do tomorrow, some will take some renovating. Just keep this list in mind. Just because your house has a high initial cost, doesn’t mean it must have high residual costs.
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com