The United States has entered a time of financial uncertainty. With rising inflation and the threat of recession, you may wonder how to prepare for the future.
One way to cut costs is by tightening your home budget with simple tweaks. Here are six ways to tighten your home budget and save significant money.
1. Keep Your Freezer Full
You may think that spending money on more food would cost you more money, but that expense will pay off with savings on your energy bill.
Filling your freezer with frozen food and drinks will hold the cold in better and keep warm or out than if there is space for air to circulate.
An easy way to keep your freezer full while saving money is to freeze fruits and vegetables that are starting to go bad. You can use them later for cooking or combine them into delicious, healthy smoothies. Even filling your freezer with non-food items can help save energy.
Your freezer uses most of its energy, keeping things full. When you help it by keeping it whole, it enables you to save energy.
2. Dress for the Season
With more people working from home, we’re less likely to adjust the thermostat to save money.
Even if you aren’t home as often during the day, it can be tempting to turn the temperature to what we’re wearing instead of dressing for it. While your thermostat lets you set it to any temperature you’d like, your energy bill will reflect when the indoor temperature is different than the temperature outside.
Keeping your body at a comfortable temperature is important to keep you calm and healthy, but your clothing can serve the same purpose during milder temperatures. Instead of immediately turning to the thermostat, try adding or taking off a layer of clothing.
If you dress as you would outside that day, you can keep your home temperature at the outdoor temperature, which makes your heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) kick on less.
Your HVAC system uses one of the most significant percentages of your home energy. When it doesn’t have to kick on much, you’ll see a substantial difference in your energy bill.
3. Use Coin-Operated Laundry
If you want to save money and don’t mind venturing out, using coin-operated laundry in a complex or laundromat can be a great solution to do your laundry.
Using the coin-operated laundry, you don’t have to worry about buying or maintaining a washer and dryer. It also saves you money on your water bill, as you won’t have to worry about using your water to wash your family’s clothes.
Another plus of communal laundry services is that they can accommodate larger loads, like plush bedding, that could damage a home appliance, leading to repair costs.
4. Switch Your Fan’s Direction
If you have ceiling fans, take full advantage of them. Even if you have an HVAC system, your ceiling fan is an excellent low-energy way to circulate air and cool your home.
Did you know that most ceiling fans have a switch that can change the blade direction? During the summer, switch your fan to a counterclockwise direction, so the air goes down to you, keeping you cooler with less need to turn up the air conditioning.
In the winter, do the opposite by ensuring your fan’s blades go counterclockwise. The blades will help circulate the warm air from heaters helping your home stay warmer.
5. Use LEDs
If you use incandescent light bulbs, consider switching them out for light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
LEDs are the size of pepper flakes and emit light in various colors. The bulbs emit light in one direction, reducing the need for the bulbs to have reflectors and diffusers. The bulbs also emit much less heat than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
The best part about using LEDs is that they use 75% less energy than other bulbs and last 30 times longer than incandescent lighting, saving you significant money in the long run.
6. Change Your Furnace Filter on Time
Your furnace filter serves several purposes to keep you and your HVAC system healthy. It catches the dirt, hair and other debris taken in by your intake ducts. They block the debris from damaging your system’s fans and stop it from coming through your output vents.
When your filter gets full, your HVAC operates less efficiently than if the filter has proper airflow. To keep your system running smoothly, you’ll need to change your filter regularly, depending on the filter you install.
7. Install Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is another excellent way to regulate your home’s temperature. Installing weatherstripping around your doors and windows can block air from entering or leaving your home, regulating the temperature.
You can purchase weatherstripping relatively cheaply online or at a hardware store to save energy and money throughout the year.
Tightening Your Home Budget
Tightening your home budget is a great way to save money throughout the year. It’s especially important when saving where you can is helpful or even necessary during uncertain financial times.
Taking measures to be more energy efficient and put less pressure on your appliances is a great way to start your savings journey.
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