Did you know that, on average, Americans pay $1,300 to $1,500 annually for electricity and $800 to$1,000 for water? Americans, then, are paying out a sizable chunk of their income on utility bills alone. And that’s a pretty big financial burden for new homeowners who are likely still reeling from having to make a big down payment and pay closing costs. What can you do about this? Plenty, actually, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort or cost much. Let’s take a look at 5 ways new homeowners can cut utility costs in Athens.
1. Replace the HVAC Filter
Heating and cooling make up the bulk of utility costs for most homeowners. So one easy and inexpensive way for new homeowners to cut utility costs in Athens is by simply replacing the filter(s) on their HVAC system.
A dirty filter results in inefficient – and costlier – heating and cooling. New homeowners, then, should replace the filter when they first move in and then, according to experts, every 30 days after that. Or, if you don’t want to be burdened with replacing it every month and are willing to spend a little more, you can install a high-end pleated filter, which can last up to six months.
2. Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
A lot of both hot and cold air can seep in around windows and doors. So weatherstripping around windows and doors is another effective, inexpensive way for new Athens homeowners to cut utility costs. In fact, sealing these air leaks can save you up to 30% annually on utility bills.
You can find the weatherstripping products you need at your local home-improvement store. Options include plastic, felt, foam, and vinyl, and you can even layer them to get the best seal possible. It doesn’t take a lot of effort or expense and is an easy way to cut utility costs while making your new home more comfortable.
3. Use Smart Power Strips
And installing smart power strips is a smart thing to do to cut utility costs. Here’s why…
Electrical devices – even when they’re turned off, but still plugged in – “leak” electricity. It’s a phenomenon known as “phantom power” or “vampire power” and can account for up to 5% to 10% of your monthly electric bill.
You could, of course, unplug everything when you’re not using it, but that’s a hassle. An easier way to handle the problem is with smart power strips. These automatically cut off power to devices and appliances when they’re not in use – and they cost only about $15 to $30.
4. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Did you know that you can get most of your clothes just as clean washing them in cold water as washing them in warm or hat water? It’s true (except for those few items that specifically require hot water). So just wash your clothes in cold water to cut utility costs.
Remember, 75% to 90% of the energy used when you wash clothes in hot water goes to heating the water. And for clothes with stains, washing in cold water is often preferable to avoid setting the stains. It’s a small, easy change to make, and can have a noticeable impact on your utility bills.
5. Cut Your Shower Time
It may take some getting used to, but cutting down your shower time can also cut utility costs. You don’t really need all those long showers, and your teenagers certainly don’t need those 30-minute showers that use up all the hot water.
Most of us average a little over eight minutes in the shower, which uses a hair over 17 gallons of water at a rate of slightly more than two gallons per minute. Cutting back to just five minutes in the shower can make a big dent in the amount of water used and the energy needed to heat it over a year’s time.
Learn More From Your Athens Agent
These are are some easy, effective ways to cut utility costs. But new homeowners have even more tricks and tactics at their disposable to cut utility bills. Buying wisely is one of these, and your Athens agent can help you do just that. So if you’re bout to become a new homeowner and want to cut utility costs, contact us today at 706-928-9959.