Managing monthly budget can be quite tricky for many homeowners. Often, they don’t have enough money left for savings, entertainment and investment. In reality, by cutting down on the expenses, it is easy to save a lot of money. There are financial mistakes that you can avoid and here are things you should do:
1. Use solar panels:
This may seem like an expensive investment at the beginning. But, over the years, you can save a lot of money by tapping the greatest energy source in the solar system.
2. Lower thermostat settings: Each time you lower the thermostat settings by one degree for eight hours each day, you may lower the heating bills by 2 percent. This is applicable during winter and you may lower thermostat settings during the noon, because it’s usually warmer.
3. Turn off computers and lights when not needed: When you plan to take a nap, it is a good idea to turn off the lights and computers to save some money.
4. Use LED and CFL bulbs: It is true that LED and CFL bulbs are more expensive than regular incandescent bulbs. They reduce the overall energy consumption by 75 percent and these bulbs should last much longer.
5. Use ceiling fans: During the summer, many people prefer to use air conditioning to cool down the interior. However, fans should also do the job properly and they should make you feel cooler. Often, you overuse the air conditioning and forget to turn it off. Still, you shouldn’t forget to turn the ceiling fans off before leaving the room.
6. Use pressure cookers: Pressure cookers reduce the cooking time. Alternatively you should also use microwave, which can heat up food quickly and with less cost, compared to using the stove.
7. Clean up refrigerator: It is important to avoid overfilling the refrigerator. You should make sure that the flow of air inside the fridge is unobstructed. You need to clean the coils twice a year. If the coil is dirty and covered with thick dust, the overall efficiency can be reduced by a third.
8. Consider energy efficiency when doing laundry: Most detergents work equally well with warm and cold water. So, it isn’t really necessary to heat up water when doing laundry. Instead of using the dryer, you could hang the clothes under the sunlight, if it is a hot summer day. During winter, you should clean the dryer and remove dry lint with damp microfiber cloth.
9. Use the natural light whenever possible: It is a good thing if your house has full skylights or energy-efficient windows. Light tubes can be installed on strategic sports to diffuse or amplify sunlight. During the winter, windows films can significantly reduce heat loss.
10. Check weather stripping: Examine whether the weather stripping has worn out. If it wears out, there will be air leaks along the seals. Good seals on doors could also prevent heat from escaping to the exterior.
11. Choose appliances with ENERGY STAR compliance:
If you plan to replace an old appliance, ENERGY STAR rating should provide great energy efficiency. Instead of focusing only on sales deals, you should also consider the overall rating of energy efficiency.
12. Perform maintenance: When time and money are tight, it is likely that you skip regular maintenance chores. Without proper maintenance, it is possible that appliances and expensive home systems fail catastrophically. Air conditioning units and furnace should be serviced regularly. Failures can happen even if only a part wears out prematurely. As example, it is relatively easy and affordable to replace filters, especially if the HVAC system works hard all the time. It is a good idea to find a reliable HVAC service company to evaluate and maintain the system. You need to make sure that everything is working in peak condition.
13. Check roof, gutter and downspouts: You should check the roof for curled or loose shingles. You may need to work with professional roofing service to perform a thorough evaluation and prevent future leaks. The downspouts and gutters can be clogged with a lot of debris. Most of the time, leaks happen due to improper maintenance. Many homeowners discover leaks only when damage already happens to walls, floors and ceilings. Ice dams can happen to overflowing gutters and they may cause leaks on roof. If water damage is serious enough, the foundation can be waterlogged and cracked during sub-zero temperature.