With home ownership comes expenses. Besides your mortgage, monthly utility bills are a part of ownership. Common home utilities include electricity, natural gas, water/sewer, trash pick up, and more. Very few of these expenses are static; the same each month. The goal should be to try to keep your utility bills as small as possible. This means more money in your pocket at the end of each month.
Your utility bills can fluctuate from season to season. Our water bill, for instance, goes up in the hot summer months. We water our lawn a couple of times a month. Landscape beds are set up on a time and get watered twice a day. Depending on the heat (which is extreme in Texas) our swimming pool also needs to have water added because of evaporation. All of this equals a LOT of water.
Our budget is adjusted for these dog days of summer when water use goes up.
The biggest home utility we pay is our electric bill. Your house itself can determine whether or not this bill will be super high. The trick is to make your house as energy efficient as possible. This will truly help lower those energy bills. Watch for these couple of common reasons our homes are less efficient than they should be.
If you notice an odd increase in your energy bill, look for reasons why. Insufficient insulation can cause excess heating or cooling in your home, depending on the season. Is your house sweltering in summer or frigid in the winter? Check the insulation in your attic. Insulation will last 15 years or more if applied properly. However, it you’ve had roof leaks or other water damage, this can degrade your insulation. If you purchased a pre-owned home, you inherited any problems from the previous owner.
How much insulation should your attic have? Click here to find out. If yours is below the recommended levels, it’s probably why your energy bills have gone up more than average. Deal with your insulation problems to help your home become more efficient.
The second cause of higher energy bills is a breach in the structure of your home. This includes things like cracks in the walls, holes in the roof, breaks in the window seals, etc. It’s important to repair these problems as soon as possible because they create areas that allow hot and cold air to seep in and out. This, in turn, causes your air conditioning and heating units to work harder.
You don’t want to lose heat in the winter months or cool air in the summer. Check for air coming in around windows and walls. It’s likely, that if you have these kinds of leaks, your heating and air units never stop because they never can reach the set temps. Most of the issues can be fixed by the homeowner.
While our energy bills typically do fluctuate with the seasons, over time you still can guess what your typical bill amount will be. Pay attention to the average amount you pay each month for your electricity bills. If your electricity bill goes up beyond the averages, then you should start searching for the reasons why.