Owning a home is a huge change from renting or sharing quarters without your parents. You get a deed and a mortgage payment but that is about all the information that you receive upon the purchase. Knowing what it takes to maintain your home is the first step to getting to know this new place that you now call home, but getting to know it in ways that save you money takes some time. Like any good relationship, it’s worth investing the time. With the warm summer months coming up, it’s especially worth investing the time to cut down on expensive summer bills. Here are three areas to save some money in this summer.
Cut Down the Water Bill
Photo via Flickr by valentinapowers
Water and summer go hand in hand. You use water for everything from kiddie pools to watering the garden to enjoying a cup of ice water on the porch. Not surprisingly, the water bill sees a huge increase during these months, as well. Being more conscious about how water is used in your home can help alleviate that. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Check all faucets for leaks and all toilets for continuously flowing water. According to The Frugal Life a steadily dripping faucet can waste nearly 330 gallons of water in a month. That’s enough water to fill 15 kiddie pools.
- Consider upgrading your shower head to the low-flow variety and upgrading your toilet to a model that is water efficient. Both upgrades will create a daily savings on water that will last well beyond the summer months.
- Be intentional about the time you water your garden. Only water in the morning or evening hours. If you water during the hottest afternoon hours, you will lose some of the water to evaporation causing you to need to use more water.
Don’t Let Vampire Energy Get the Best of You
Devices that stay plugged in can be sucking the energy from your home without you even knowing it. US News cites that many newer devices have automatic shut offs, but there are many devices that continue to use energy even when you might think that they are off. A home energy audit can help you discover what these devices are, as well as other energy inefficiencies that you may not be aware of.
Go Easy on the Air Conditioning
Running the air conditioning during summer months is mostly unavoidable, but there are ways to keep the usage to an affordable minimum. Here are some ideas:
- Line dry clothes. It can be hard to commit to doing this with every load of laundry but take advantage of those warm summer days when you can and time allows. Doing so will keep the heat out of your house, and less heat in the house means less work for the air conditioner.
- Make good use of fans. If you will be in an area of the house for quite a while, try cooling it down with fans and keeping the rest of the house around 78 degrees. The windows can also be utilized during the cool mornings and evenings to alleviate the heat.
- Spend very hot days in air conditioned places like the local library or mall.
Remember, summer is all about fun in the sun but taking some time to think through what you can control in your home can end up saving you a lot of money in the end. Don’t forget to spend some of that money on a trip to the ice cream shop.