Many home buyers saw increased heating bills over the last winter thanks to a rise in fuel costs. Between the colder-than-average temperatures and the snowstorms that kept much of the country blanketed in white well into early spring, prices rose at an incredibly fast pace. Those homeowners using propane to stay warm during the winter months saw costs rise a whopping 54 percent, while homeowners using natural gas saw their cost rise by 10 percent. In addition, heating oil costs increased by seven percent and electric heat prices rose by five percent.
This spring, you can focus on lowering your heating, electricity, cooling and water bills with the tips mentioned below:
- Get a home energy review. Many utility companies provide a free or low-cost analysis of your home’s energy use. They also offer ways to cut costs and save money. In addition, you may quality for rebates or savings if you perform energy-efficient home repairs.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat easily adjusts the temperature in your home based on the time of day without you having to remember to change it. You can set it to adjust up during the time when no one will be at home, and have it automatically lower just before your family should arrive home. If you don’t want to swap out your existing thermostat, try setting it at 74 to 76 degrees during the day while no one is at home. Then, lower it to a cooler 72 degrees at night. Also, make sure you change your filters regularly so your furnace or heat pump works at peak efficiency.
- Upgrade your bulbs. As your light bulbs go out, be sure to replace them with compact fluorescent, halogen incandescent or LED bulbs. Although they’re more expensive up front, these new types of bulbs last significantly longer and use less energy than traditional light bulbs. Make sure to choose the warmest color bulb you can find, because many of the newer bulbs cast a brighter light.