5 Simple Steps to Reduce Gas Bills
In our modern world, bills and taxes are just some of the natural nuisances of everyday living. Sometimes, the costs of gas and electricity bills rise to astronomical prices, especially during droughts and other natural events that prohibit the supply of utilities. However, many people are wholly unaware of the easy ways to lower utility bills that practically anyone can use and take advantage of.
Everyone has times in their life where they need to save just a little bit more money, and reducing the amount of money you pay in bills will help you get there. After all, saving money cannot possibly hurt you, and it gives you a little bit more to invest in or to use how you like each month.
In this article, the professionals at DebtQuest USA have come together to give you five easy ways of how to lower gas bills, and how you can save money on your gas bill, something millions of Americans are already doing, every single month. If you do not think you are up to the task of saving on your electricity and water bills by yourself, DebtQuest USA is here to help!
Simply contact us, and you can receive a free quote on how much we can save you, based on your unique personal circumstances. Otherwise, continue reading to discover methods to reduce gas and electricity bills that you have never heard of before!
Step #1: Using Modern and Energy-Efficient Appliances
Did you know that the average gas bill in America is $72.10? Or that the average electricity bill is $110.76? These electricity and gas bill numbers do indeed vary by state, as there are certain areas where natural gas costs more than other places. These numbers are evidently astronomically high, which calls into question how you can reduce them.
For starters, by purchasing a programmable thermostat, which costs anywhere from $40 to $120, you can create cycles where the heating in your house is lowered. This means that by upgrading to a newer thermostat that allows you to create temperature schedules, you are able to save generous amounts of money. This is achieved by not heating your home while you are away at work, eating dinner out, or even just during the night time before and while you are sleeping.
Another terrific example of a modern appliance that you can upgrade to is an electric fireplace. If your fireplace is operated by natural gas, this is not helping you in lowering gas bills at all. Generally, the cost of electricity in America is far lower across the board than that of natural gas.
That being said, if your home has had a gas fireplace for a long period of time, and you do not wish to spend the money to renovate that portion, there certainly are other improvements to be had. For example, the smart thermostat mentioned above with its programmable schedule features.
The absolute best way to ensure you are taking full advantage of the benefits of modern technology is to invest in Energy Star rated appliances. Energy Star is an official initiative ran by the US Environmental Protection Agency, working alongside the US Department of Energy. The self-described goal of Energy Star is to make it easy for consumers and businesses to save money while protecting the environment. The saving money part of their vision is through educating consumers about how to lower energy bills by buying newer appliances. This means that you are able to be environmentally conscious while saving money, all thanks to Energy Star.
The way Energy Star works is that if you are interested in buying new appliances, you will easily notice the bright blue Energy Star logo and stickers attached to qualifying products. These products will most likely be far more energy-efficient than the ones you are currently using if those are not Energy Star rated. This means more of your money will be saved over the long term, which will improve your financial situation even further. Thus, buying energy-efficient appliances leads to lower utility bills and more financial freedom for you and your loved ones.
Step #2: The Candle Test
One of the least known, most obscure ways to save money and reduce your electricity bills is to simply light a candle. Not for heating or for lighting, mind you. This test actually shows you where you can find leaks in your insulation, paneling, and even faulty doors and windows! With the candle test, you will be able to figure out where in your house the majority of your heat, if any, is escaping from. This will enable you to trap the escaping heat in your house, leading you to not need as much heat, lowering your gas and electricity bills forever.
To begin this test, light a candle. The size, shape, and quality do not matter, so long as you can see the smoke coming from the wick of the candle (that’s the top piece). Secondly, hold the flame near windows, doors, and even some light fixtures if you wish to take this test to its fullest. Now, peel your eyes for any diagonal trails of smoke. It is almost like you are a sleuth, searching for the pesky diagonal lines. If you see any diagonally trailing lines of smoke, this means that most likely, there is heat escaping from your home through the area you are testing. To fix this, purchase some cheap insulation covers such as caulking or weather-stripping materials. This should fix the issues. However, if your problems with escaping heat persist, contact licensed professionals to help solve your dilemma. All in all, this should quickly and rather quietly help you to solve your heating issues and reduce your gas bills across the board.
However, as a safety precaution, we recommend that you always check with a licensed professional before operating a fire hazard near any electrical output, such as a light/heat source. Additionally, be sure to keep in mind that CO2 can be harmful, and to operate this candle test in an open area with clear ventilation to prevent inhalation of fumes. When these conditions have been met, do the test to see how to save on your gas bill.
Step #3: Battening Down the Hatches
If you own a home that is constantly in need of heating, causing your gas and electricity bills to rise, there is a chance that you are allowing the heat to escape. For example, an easy way to prevent heat from leaving your house at night (arguably the most critical time of day) is simply to close your blinds.
This will stop the heat from escaping via this route, reducing your gas and electricity bills tremendously. However, during the daytime, when the sun is out, it can be beneficial to your house’s temperature to leave the blinds open, thus allowing the warm sunlight to reach the interior of your house.
Another way to close the heat up in your house is to monitor which doors and windows are left open. For example, if you have a screen door, it is a smart move to keep that closed when you want to save money on your power bill and retain the heat you already have.
Even less noticeable could be a bathroom window or something that you rarely notice, but is actually acting as a heat vacuum for your hot air. While it may seem silly to worry about something like that, there is always the chance that you, or the people who share your home with you (if any) occasionally leave windows open and forget about them.
A third item that most people often forget about is backyard swimming pools. While they may be small and often considered cold, there is a lot of water, electricity, and heating that needs to be given to just those pools. They raise the cost of living in your home and are most definitely not one of the ways to reduce utility bills in your house. An easy way to solve this issue is to actually heat your pool only when you need it, or when preparing to use it.
This is quite similar to heating your house with your thermostat, and there are definitely ways that they can be done in sync. Obviously, your pool will most likely be lying dormant throughout the majority of the winter months. This makes it not as big of a deal as the aforementioned ways to reduce gas bills, but everything counts. This is especially true when you are trying to save money on utility bills, and even changing the temperature on your pool to 5 degrees lower can make a huge impact on your payments.
Step #4: Becoming a More Eco-Friendly Home
A key way of using less energy is to become more environmentally friendly. This can be achieved in many ways, such as replacing your water heater if it is more than ten years old. Older water heaters often begin to malfunction once they have lived past their lifespan. This means that not only could you be failing to reduce water bills, but you could actually be in danger of having water that is scaldingly hot, or not hot enough.
If your water heater is over ten years of age, definitely consider getting it replaced if you find that you’re constantly thinking about lowering gas bills, among other types. As an added bonus, by replacing the water heater in your home you can rest assured that there won’t be a temperature malfunction one day. Aging water heaters can also be dangerous. From 2006 to 2010, water heaters exploding caused around 11% of the home fires in America.
Another way to become a more environmentally conscious homeowner is to consider solar panel power. This is when you install solar panels on your roof, and therefore produce your own energy for your home. Obviously, this is the best way of how to lower your energy bill, with countless stories of people actually selling off their excess energy to the government at reduced rates.
This means that, aside from protecting the environment and lowering your energy bills to virtually nothing, you can also earn a little money on the side. Solar panels are constantly becoming an easier thing to buy, with production ease increasing and the cost of buying them decreasing exponentially.
If you have ever wondered how to make a little money on the side with a very low-risk factor, investing in solar panels is the clear option. Additionally, by being able to supply your own power, you are actually becoming more independent from the government. Therefore, if something were to disrupt the neighborhood power supply, such as a downed tree, you would be able to remain fully functional with your solar energy.
A third way to modernize your home’s accessories is by purchasing heat-insulated curtains. These state-of-the-art curtains will trap heat in your home, retaining it for you when you need it the very most. This is a subtle way to quickly save money on your gas bill, as you do not need to change much about your house’s furnishings, as you would with heat-insulated doors, windows, etc. Curtains often go unnoticed, and in the daytime, it is a good idea to leave them drawn back. This allows the sun’s rays to penetrate your home and help you to warm it up for free! As a trade-off, you will most likely need to choose a new color or design of curtain, although the new industry is constantly creating unique designs for the curtains those companies produce.
Step #5: Shaking Up Your Habits
Since our youth, we have all been told simple things to do that help save water. For example, washing our hands for a set period of time, or turning off the water while brushing our teeth. Most people did not take that advice seriously when they first received it, and therefore it may come as a surprise to you that it is relevant. For example, a study by whenindrought.org found that, on average, we can each save about 100 gallons of water per year, which is enough for 100 4-minute showers. Anyone can see that this is an astronomical amount of water saved, especially in states that are drought-prone such as California and Nevada. That being said, reducing the usage of your water will definitely reduce water bills for you in the years to come. When you save money on water bills, it adds up – and these funds can line your pocket nicely.
Another smart practice to begin working on doing is unplugging unused electronics. Believe it or not, electronics that are plugged into outlets are actually idling, and therefore still using a considerable amount of electricity. This includes your phones, desktop/laptop computer and accessories, your television, and anything else. This will definitely serve to save money on your power bill as you will substantially reduce your overall power usage.
Obviously, if you are using solar panels, then your power consumption is of no concern to your wallet. However, the fact of the matter is that conserving electricity can lift parts of your total financial burden. Something that may take some getting used to is having to replug everything when you want to use it, although the overall benefits will easily outweigh the minor inconveniences. The appliances may actually have a prolonged life due to the reduction in their idle usage. Meaning, while you make your electricity bills cheaper, you are also saving money by increasing the lifespan of your electronic equipment. So, what exactly could you be waiting for? Get started today!
Are You in Need of Further Advice?
Have you fully read and researched the pros & cons of implementing these methods that will reduce your utility bill costs in your home? If you are ready to begin considering implementing some of these tips to save on your electric bill (and other bills), be sure to ask the advice of our superb, licensed professionals. DebtQuest USA is prepared to offer assistance with all matters concerning this serious topic.
With over 10 years of experience and rated as an AAA company on the Better Business Bureau, we are a professional company and continuously aspire towards achieving our goal of educating all Americans on the benefits of using their hard-earned and well-deserved money wisely. DebtQuest USA is the premier choice for inexperienced Americans looking for ways to lessen the stress and worry of financial insecurity upon their lives.
Founded in 2009 by Michael Spivak and Jakob Shimon, DebtQuest USA has always strived to aid all Americans with the burdens poor financial education can bring, especially to those who are not of good financial standing. To quote our founder, Michael Spivak, “Education is our ultimate goal.”
We are a reliable source of information throughout all stages of your financial journey. If you are curious to learn more, feel free to navigate to the page on our website with our company information. We aspire to be a transparent company that cares about our customers, each and every day.
Contact us today if you are prepared to start working towards living your life with zero financial worries, once again.