5 Affordable Projects That Can Reduce Your Utility Bills Immediately
Maintaining a home can be costly for many homeowners. It is no wonder then that people look for ways they can cut down on their monthly bills. However, the solutions can also carry a hefty price tag, which is why it is worth knowing 5 affordable projects to reduce utility bills quickly.
1. Carry Out An Energy Audit
Before undertaking any other project in a home it is important to know which problems exist which are harming your energy efficiency. There may be areas of your home where the heat or cool air is escaping, meaning you’re wasting money on energy bills. The best way to find out where work needs to be done is by contracting a professional (like a RESNET HERS Rater) to do an energy audit (https://www.hersindex.com/articles/a-home-energy-audit-leads-to-increased-home-comfort/) of your home.
2. Seal Air Leaks
Insulation is a vital part of achieving a highly energy-efficient home. An energy audit can help reveal any leaks, gaps, and cracks which need sealing. Many of these areas which facilitate air escaping can go unnoticed as they can be extremely small. Stopping air escaping will result in HVAC systems needing to be used for less time. The average cost to have the windows and doors sealed in 2,500 sq. ft. home is $350-$600.
3. Service Your Air Conditioning Unit
Making sure your AC system is running properly will mean that it is not using more energy than necessary, resulting in the reduction of bills. There are a variety of different aspects that a unit needs maintenance performed on, such as filter replacement, coil cleaning, and charging the refrigerant. The more work that needs to be done will increase in the final cost, with annual or biannual checkups lowering the chances of costly problems. The type of unit you have will also affect the cost, with the average service or service of your air conditioning ranging from $50 to $500.
4. Install a Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan is a more cost-effective alternative to air conditioning as it costs less to run. The combination of both a ceiling fan and air conditioning are an option, however when making a direct comparison a 3-ton air conditioning unit costs $0.36 to run an hour, yet a ceiling fan is much less at $0.01 an hour. Ceiling fans can be switched on only when the room is being used and installation costs depend on the size and type. The average cost of a ceiling fan ranges between $350 and $650 (https://www.fixr.com/costs/ceiling-fan-installation).
5. Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart home features (https://www.hersindex.com/articles/5-smart-home-additions-that-will-make-your-home-more-efficient/), such as thermostats, are a proven effective way to lower utility bills by controlling the temperatures of cooling and heating systems in a way that makes sure they are only used when necessary, at the required temperature. Homeowners can set them so they turn on when there is more activity present in the home, and turn off at times when they are not needed. There are different smart thermostats available, from more high-end voice-activated versions to the more basic. Costs average around $300.
Other Options to Consider
As well as these affordable ways to reduce utility bills, homeowners can also change their habits which carry no cost at all. Taking shorter showers and lowering your water heater tank temperature can also save you money. Some utility service providers offer energy-saving times when you can operate appliances at a lower cost. Applying these methods will immediately impact your monthly bills positively.
Adam Graham is a Construction Industry Analyst at Fixr.com, a website that offers home remodeling cost-guides and connects homeowners with service professionals. He analyzes and writes about the home construction industry, interior design trends, and real estate.