Prepare Your Home For Inflation So You Don’t Drown In Utility Bills
Inflation is wreaking havoc on Americans, but one area that isn't usually discussed is energy prices. Consumer Price Index figures show that the energy index has risen 34.6% in the last year. The energy index surged 3.9% in May, natural gas increased 8%, and electricity increased 1.3%.
Over the previous ten years, home energy prices, particularly natural gas, have been largely stable over the past ten years. However, prices have risen to levels not seen since 2008. And millions of people have been unable to pay their utility bills due to the one-two punch of Covid-related economic hardship and 40-year high inflation.
Fortunately, some people have foreseen this and have devised strategies to minimize expenditures and save money on home utilities. Here are five easy methods to battle rising power costs in the coming year:
1. Reduce your reliance on heating and cooling.
With increased HVAC costs on the horizon, you may help your home become more energy efficient so that you can either break even or even save money in the long term. Of course, the most straightforward approach is to use less energy, which may be accomplished in various ways.
Consider whether you need your heating or cooling system or if you'd be okay with extra layers or open windows. Other ideas include dialing down the heat at night when sleeping and using extra blankets in bed during the winter. It’s better to sleep in a cooler environment, or opening a window during summer instead of the AC running all night since the temperature is lower. Also, ensure you're not heating/cooling areas of your home or apartment that aren't in use. For example, turn off the heat or AC upstairs when you go downstairs for the day.
2. Check to see if your house is energy efficient.
Even if you're doing everything you can to save money on utilities, your utility costs can skyrocket if your heating and cooling system isn't working correctly or your home isn't well insulated. As a result, ensure that everything in your home is in working order and well protected. You can conduct a home energy audit by looking for weak places in your insulation in your basement and attic.
3. Make use of energy-efficient house improvements and winter weatherization.
Looking into programs like the Energy Star home renovations and weatherization program, accessible for low-income households in the United States, is another excellent approach to ensure your home isn't squandering money in the winter.
4. Purchase and install a whole-house fan.
One of the most effective strategies to save money and become more energy efficient is to employ whole-house fans. Whole-house fans consume less energy than air conditioning and do an excellent job evacuating hot air and replacing it with cold air, keeping your home cool and your wallet secure. Consider utilizing a whole house fan to cool your house in the summer instead of turning on your energy-intensive air conditioner.
5. Install solar panels on your roof.
Because traditional types of heating, such as gas, electricity, and propane, are becoming more expensive, consider switching to a less expensive, renewable source, such as solar panels. While the expense of solar panels may take years to pay off, it will make you more energy-efficient and self-reliant and raise the value of your home in the long run. While isolated solar panels are an option, combo items such as solar-powered attic fans are also available.
6. Monitor your energy usage with a home energy monitor system.
PowerX provides fully automated smart home monitoring solutions using the energy-efficient LoRa connectivity standard. Our system helps you monitor and optimize energy consumption and proactively avoid disasters like major leaks. Get in touch today to find out more.