How to Beat Those High Utility Bills
There are several reasons that Utility Bills Cost more for homeowners. One of the most common discounts for utility bills is the “hard” discount. Hard usage means extra use for fridges, air conditioners, washing machines, washers and dryers, etc. These appliances add up to the energy consumption of a home, and there is no getting away from the fact that more people are using high-powered tools in their daily lives. The average homeowner pays about $50 per year for their cooling and heating, and this number doesn’t just include residential homes but also those in rental communities.
When you compare your home’s average energy consumption to the square footage, you can expect to pay close to three times as much in utility costs as the average family spends on groceries. One reason why utility bills cost so much for so many families is because they live in an older home with outdated equipment. Newer appliances consume less energy, and the result is lower energy bills for homeowners. Older homes, on average, have less efficient windows, insulation, cooling and heating systems, as well as fewer doors and windows.
It’s not just in older single family homes where utility bills cost so much, though. Even new homes that are relatively modern take up more energy than older homes, because builders add in additional insulation to keep heat in and windows less insulated to keep heat out. Newer appliances also have less sophisticated designs, so they use more electricity. Even things like dishwashers are more costly to run, meaning more utility bills for homeowners.
Another big reason why utility bills cost so much for so many families is that more households are living in apartments. Apartment renters pay far more in utilities and property taxes than home owners. If you’re an apartment renter, it makes sense to do everything you can to avoid having a big water bill every month. Switch to a ground source water heater, conserve water by taking showers when possible, and turn down the thermostat on your air conditioner to save on energy costs.
Homeowners can also reduce their utility costs by improving their homes’ heating and cooling systems. Insulation also makes a difference. The better insulated your house is, the more expensive it will be to heat it, cool it, and use the utilities. Windows and doors also help, since they allow more air in and let in more light.
By improving your lifestyle, you can greatly reduce your utility costs. Get rid of all the outdated appliances in your home, and replace them with energy-efficient ones that use less electricity. Switch to hardwoods instead of carpet, and install energy saving lighting, ventilation and heaters. If you don’t already, make a point to switch to environmentally friendly appliances and products as well. When you do these things, not only will you save a bundle on utility bills, but you’ll also have a healthier environment.