The spring and fall are wonderful seasons. Not only do they come with great smells, beautiful flowers and vibrant leaves, and the excitement of the summer to come or the comfort of the coziness of the upcoming winter, but the weather is generally quite pleasant. Spring and fall temperatures are not too hot and not too cold, making them the perfect times of year to open windows and let the outside in or to get outside and enjoy the yard before it gets too hot or too cold. Not only that, but the comfortable temperatures make it easy to manage utilities and keep those costs under control.
After the spring gives way to summer and fall gives way to winter, though, those bills seem to shoot up, making it hard to keep those bills in the budget. But luckily, there are programs that can help–by learning more about how PACE works and the other offers available to offset costs, utility bill costs in the summer and winter can be kept at a manageable level. There are also deals and rebates offered by local utility companies and the government that can help reduce the cost of keeping a house cool in summer and warm in winter. But if the numbers aren’t dropping how as low as needed, try some of the following tips.
Saving Money on Utilities in summer
There’s nothing like coming in from the exhausting summer heat to a cool, comfortable home. While the feeling is great, the cost of running the AC isn’t as comfortable which may require the addition of more money to the utility budget or may require that the temperatures stay uncomfortably warm inside. It can be a struggle to keep a balance between a cool house and a comfortable budget, but the following tips can help.
Turn off the AC when no one is home. Nobody wants to come home after a long day to a hothouse in the middle of the summer, but running the AC all day when no one is home is costly. It may be annoying to deal with a hothouse for a few minutes, but leaving the AC off and turning it on only when someone is home, (or at least turning up the temperature when everyone is away), can help save more than expected.
Keep blinds and doors shut. It’s not necessary to live in a dark, cave-like environment during the summer to keep the house cool, but shutting the blinds or curtains on windows that get direct sunlight and keeping bedroom doors shut can keep the main parts of the house cool and keep hot air from traveling to other rooms. This, in turn, will help cut down cooling costs since the AC will be able to reach the set temperature sooner.
Use fans to supplement. Whether it be a ceiling fan or a portable fan, using the fans in the home can help keep air circulating, even when the AC’s not on, keeping things cooler for longer periods of time. Using the fans available or investing in a couple to put in the windows will better cool the house without letting the utility bills get out of control.
Saving Money on Utilities in winter
People who don’t like to layer up hate hearing, “put on a sweater” or “throw on some socks” when they complain that they are cold. Layers aren’t for everyone, but instead of putting on a few extras, there are some ways to keep the house warm, even in the dead of winter. The following tips can help.
Let in the light. The sun is a great way to warm up, and although the sun can shine but things can still be cold, opening up the curtains and blinds and letting the light in will help keep the house a little warmer and cut down the utility costs. It may be a hard habit to get into if the blinds are usually closed during the day, but the savings will be worth it.
Let things cool down at night. There’s no reason to turn it down so low that the house and everyone in it will freeze, but turning down the thermostat even a few degrees at night can help save energy and money on the utility bills. It may not be fun getting out of bed on a cold morning, but using extra blankets and flannel sheets during the winter will keep everyone in the house warmer at night. And programming the thermostat to come on shortly before everyone gets up will make it a little less unpleasant.
Use the fireplace. If the house has a fireplace or there’s the opportunity to add one during renovations, do it. Using the fireplace is a great way to supplement the heat pushed out by the heater and can keep the house warmer than expected. It may be inconvenient to have to chop and stock up on firewood throughout the summer, but the house will stay warm, and it will be easier to keep the utility bills in the budget.
In extreme weather, utility bills can jump to extremes too and push the utility budget to the edge. Instead of dealing with the heat or cold or resigning to footing the bill, though, several things can be done to keep a balance between a comfortable home and an affordable bill. In addition to letting things warm up in the summer when no one is home, or cooling the house down at night during the winter months while everyone is asleep, doing upgrades to insulation and installing a smart thermostat can also ensure that the house is as energy efficient as possible and make it easier to keep bills balanced.
What else can be done to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter without running up the bills?