Ways To Keep Your House Comfortable While on a Tight Budget

Ways To Keep Your House Comfortable While on a Tight Budget

In this economy, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to how people spend their hard-earned cash.  A budget-savvy individual might decide to spend less money eating at restaurants, or to take public transportation rather than drive to work and brown-bag their lunch to boot.  There’s always room to cut corners if we look hard enough.

Another way to save money is on heating and cooling, which can be murder when it comes to the extremely hot and cold months of the year.  However, a few simple changes can really make an impact on that dreaded bill.

First, installing blinds or window shades on all windows is a quick fix that can result in major savings.  Without energy-efficient shades or blinds, a home is more likely to overheat in the summer and freeze in the winter.  Those clever shades and blinds ward off the hot summer rays, while trapping warm air in the winter.  Keeping a home a bit dim with closed blinds or shades during the day will net the homeowner noticeable savings – not to mention the increased level of comfort.

Just how cool is cool enough? Some people set their thermostat at a certain temperature and leave it there permanently.  This is a sure-fire way to waste money on the energy bill.  It’s always a good idea to experiment with the thermostat in order to find the temperature that just “takes the edge off”.  Same goes for heating as well.  Just a degree or two can make all the difference in the world, and it may be surprising how bearable the temperature difference is.

Another thermostat tip is to either turn off the heat or air conditioning when the house will be empty, or to at least set it very low.  When no one’s home, no one needs to be comfortable, and leaving the system running for an empty house is extremely wasteful.

When it comes to improvements within the home in order to bring down the dreaded energy bill, one thing to consider is the existing weather proofing of all doors and windows.  It’s surprising how easy it is to overlook a drafty front door or window, but they can make a profound difference in the quality of heating and air conditioning within the home.  When those seals are tightened, the bill is tightened as well.  Other places to check for leaks are plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets or switches – anywhere there could be a gap, allowing precious energy dollars to escape.

Insulation should be checked carefully, too.  Attics, floors, walls – every out facing structure should have insulation. Ensuring that the home is properly insulated will make the biggest impact on energy bills.

Lastly, a green friendly option. What about planting a tree or two? It may sound strange, but homes with trees on the south and west sides are more energy efficient, blocking the worst of the sun’s rays and keeping the home cooler.

Shades or blinds, energy consciousness, landscaping, insulation – just a handful of ways to bring down energy costs and make that monthly bill a bit less dreadful.

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