4 Reasons Your Utility Costs Keep Rising & How to Save
| Photographs By Big Cheese/Big Cheese
Your utility bills are probably some of your largest monthly expenses, and that is why you should constantly be on the lookout for any unusual fluctuations. Ignoring those inconsistencies might end up costing you thousands of dollars every year.
Here is a closer look at a few of the most common reasons that utility bills suddenly go up, and some steps that you can take to bring them back down.
Leaks in the plumbing system
A slow leak might not seem like a big deal, but it could actually be costing you more than you realize. One study funded by the EPA found that fixing easily corrected water leaks will reduce the average homeowner’s water bill by nearly 10 percent.
Over the course of an entire year, those leaks are going to add up. Most slow leaks around faucets and spigots can easily be fixed with thread-seal tape or new 0-rings.
Pilot lights aren’t burning efficiently
Even though pilot lights don’t use that much gas, they still need to be burning cleanly. You most likely have at least two or three pilot lights throughout your home, and each one probably burns a few dollars’ worth of gas every month.
Pilot lights are usually found in water heaters, older stoves, furnaces, and gas dryers. The flame on a pilot light should be clean, consistent, and somewhat blue. Most pilot lights can easily be adjusted with a nearby knob.
Older electronics are drawing energy
Most electronics will continue to draw a small amount of power as long as they are plugged into the wall. Modern homes often have dozens of devices plugged in at all times, and those “phantom loads” will eventually add up.
In any rooms that you don’t regularly use, the electronics should be unplugged entirely. You can also plug some of your devices into power strips so that you can cut the power to multiple electronics at once.
Some of the worst offenders include televisions, desktop computers, laptops, and video-game consoles.
The HVAC system Is aging
Older HVAC systems are notoriously inefficient, and that is why most contractors suggest replacing any cooling or heating system that is more than 15 years old. Unfortunately, this is one project that you shouldn’t tackle on your own unless you have extensive experience and the right tools.
Any mistakes that you make during the installation process could increase your energy bills or damage the system.
If you are still having issues with your utility bills, then you might want to hire a residential inspector. These professionals usually inspect homes before they are sold, but they can also help you find issues such as water leaks, gas leaks, and damaged insulation.
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