While you’re paying bills for the month, do you ever just sit and wonder what you could do with all that money if you weren’t using it to pay the mortgage, utilities, and that credit card you should have ditched years ago? Bills often feel largely out of our control, like we have to accept them for what they are. While that may be true with your mortgage or school loans, you can control other aspects of your bills, especially your utility costs.
In the end, it’s not the city of Okeana, Ohio, that’s forcing you to pay so much every month — it’s your own habits. Look forward to next month’s utility bills by adjusting your power-consuming habits. Here are five tricks to cut your utility costs next month.
Check Thermostat Settings
Your thermostat is the key to turning your home into a cozy sanctuary from the bitterly cold outdoors. That same thermostat is also the key to lower utility bills, so if you want to cut those costs, you need to watch your thermostat settings. There’s always the temptation to crank the thermostat to 80 degrees and make it summer in your home, but that will cause your utility bills to skyrocket.
Here’s the general principle: the closer your thermostat setting is to the temperature outside, the cheaper your utility costs and the less strain you place on your HVAC system. That doesn’t mean you need to keep your home as cold as it is outdoors, but the higher you turn the thermostat, the more you’ll be paying every month. A good moderate thermostat setting is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, your heating system will be able to efficiently maintain comfort.
Use Natural Heat
Who says you can only rely on your heating system to maintain comfort in your home? While it may be the quickest way to get cozy, it can also be the most expensive. Fortunately, you can also rely on natural heat to warm up certain areas of your home. Once the sun comes out, open drapes and blinds to let that sunlight into the room. The light will keep the room warmer throughout the day. Just don’t forget to close the curtains or blinds before sunset.
Fight off Energy Vampires
If you’re really looking to save money on utilities, it’s not enough to just turn off your electronics and small appliances. Even when these electronics are turned off, they continue to draw power as long as they’re plugged in. That means you’re paying for energy that you don’t get to enjoy, especially if you’re out of town for an extended period.
When you’re finished using your electronics and small appliances, either unplug them or connect them all to a power strip and turn off the strip.
Maintain Your Humidity
Most homeowners aren’t fans of humidity, but that’s only because they don’t know how to use it to their advantage. When humidity levels drop in the winter, your home feels colder than it should. That’s because moisture in the air retains heat, so the less the moisture, the less heat preserved.
That doesn’t mean you should turn your home into a sauna, but you can use a whole-home humidifier to maintain a healthy humidity level in your home. Whole-home humidifiers add a regulated amount of moisture to your air before that air moves through your home.
Put Yourself First
While it’s certainly important to keep your home at a healthy temperature level, the most important thing to keep warm is you. If you focus more on yourself than your living space, you’ll save on utility costs. Wear warm clothing and drink warm beverages. Eat hot foods and carry a blanket around if you have to. As long as you and your loved ones are warm, you won’t be as tempted to turn up the heater.
Take control of your energy bills. Think of it as a challenge to make your utility costs less than they were last month. And to schedule the HVAC care that will further reduce your bills, call Western Hills Heating and Air Conditioning at 812-227-3001.
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