It’s been a hot summer, which means that anyone with a thermostat is aware of how much keeping your house cool can cost. But energy bills don’t stop when summer does – they keep going year-round. And in a sluggish economy, there’s nothing more pressing than the need to save money in the household budget.
So what is someone with an energy bill to pay to do? We have eight points of advice to offer you, each with the aim of reducing the cost of energy in your house while still giving you the comfortable life you want to have at home.
1. Insulation – Including Windows
Keeping your house comfortable means keeping the temperature stable. Many people handle this simply by cranking their air conditioning or heating up – but that’s not the way to save money. Instead, you can keep your home’s temperature more stable with insulation. Energy-efficient windows and shutters are great ways to ensure you don’t lose heat or cold through these entry points.
2. Seal Your Air Leaks
Of course, not everything gets out through your windows. There may be a few air leaks around your home – they often appear under doors and near windows. Check your house for leaks and have them sealed.
3. Do your Hot Chores at Night
Turning on the oven can really warm up the kitchen, which means your air conditioner will have to put in overtime to keep you cool. It’s better to use these appliances at night when the temperature is already down.
4. Keep your Appliances Clean and Efficient
Your refrigerator runs best when it’s loaded – not when it’s empty. Same with your freezer. But keep all of your appliances clean and efficient and you can expect a reduction on your energy bill.
5. Unplug When You’re Not Using
Even a plugged-in cell phone charger draws energy from the house, so make sure that if you’re not using an appliance or gadget, that it’s unplugged (with a few obvious exceptions – the TV, refrigerator, etc.)
6. Stay Warm (or Cold) in the Right Rooms
Hot air rises, so your warmest rooms in the winter are higher in your house and the coolest room in summer is your basement. To keep yourself comfortable, spend more time in the right places – it doesn’t cost anything extra.
7. Keep Your Doors Closed
This helps “segment” your house and keeps the load on your air conditioner or heater lighter. It’s tough to heat up or cool down an entire house, after all; it’s not so hard to just provide comfort to a single room or two.
8. Buy a Portable Air Conditioner
If your house doesn’t have AC but you still want a cool bed to sleep in, you don’t need to spring for an entire air conditioning system; you only need a room air conditioner.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you have a Saturday that needs some time to fill; just taking a few steps to change your habits can mean the difference between an affordable energy bill and one that makes you say “why am I spending this much money?”
Chris Turberville-Tully is a marketing strategist for Purely Shutters, a UK retailer of commercial and residential shutters. Browse Purely Shutter’s gallery of specialty items, bay window shutters, tracking doors, solid shutters and more on their website.