The scorching dog days of summer made you long for the deep freeze of winter. But now that the temperatures have started to plummet, you’re not as eager for the big chill as you once were.
You might dream of going south to warmer climes, but who has the budget for a mid-winter vacation? Certainly not you after your utility bills spike with Old Man Winter’s arrival.
If you’re worried about how you’ll afford to keep warm and cozy this season, check in with these simple home improvement tips. They’ll help avoid a massive utility bill this winter.
Find out Your Budget First
While some of the tips below will be free, others require a little investment before you can take them on.
Your budget will let you know which ones you can realistically afford.
If this doesn’t leave a lot, take a long, hard look at your spending habits. If you can eliminate unnecessary expenses, you may free up more cash to spend on your home.
This may take some time and a lot of sacrifice to pull off. In comparison, it may seem easier to apply for personal line of credit loans and draw on their funds to get what you need quickly.
But when it comes to expected household maintenance, it’s better to rely on savings.
That’s not to suggest a line of credit doesn’t have a place in your budget. This product is designed to be a safety net when things go wrong. It’s better if you get a personal line of credit to help with unexpected emergency expenses your savings can’t cover.
Once you know what your budget is, check in with the rest of this list to lower your bills.
Check Your Windows and Doors
Possible Savings: More than 20 percent of heating and cooling costs.
Damaged weatherstripping around the windows and doors of your home are an energy suck.
It lets hot air out and cold air in, even when your doors and windows are firmly shut and locked!
If you spot any holes or cracks, fill them with caulking. For more significant damage, you may have to install new weatherstripping.
Keep Your Hands Away from the Thermostat
Possible Savings: Up to 15 percent of your heating bill.
This is an easy one. The next time you feel a chill, don’t crank the heat; pile on the blankets or wear a sweater instead.
More specifically, try keeping your house temperature at 68° while you’re at home.
Replace Your Air Filter
Possible Savings: More than $10,000.
Did you know your furnace’s air filter needs a replacement every year? Popping in a new disposable filter (or cleaning a permanent one) will encourage the air to flow through your home better, so your furnace has to work less.
Not only will you avoid high utility bills, but you’ll also avoid an overheated furnace breaking down — which will save you the expense of replacing this costly appliance!
You may not be looking forward to winter, but you won’t have to dread the utilities that they bring. Follow these tips, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your bills.