Household costs have risen over recent years and you might now dread checking your utility bills. However, by being savvy you could slash your expenses, leaving you with more cash to spend on other things. Here are some simple ways to ease the pressures on your budget.
Harvest the rain that falls on your roof
One top tip is to start harvesting the rain that falls on your roof. As drainage system specialists Alumasc Drainage point out, the cost of mains water is continuing to rise as demand for this crucial commodity increases. Rainwater harvesting systems offer an alternative to this potentially costly source of water. As long as you choose a good quality system and make sure it’s installed properly, these solutions are easy to use and maintain, and they can cut domestic mains water consumption by up to 50 percent.
Improve your insulation
Improving the insulation in your home could help to drive your costs down too. If your budget will stretch to it, you might benefit from upgrading any single-glazed windows to energy efficient double-glazed versions. Fitting additional loft and cavity wall insulation can also help to lower your bills. Don’t worry if these measures are too expensive though; there are cheaper techniques that can help your property to retain heat. For example, simply using draft excluders to prevent warmth escaping from under your doors or through your letterbox can work wonders, and installing thick blockout curtains or blinds can also help. Bear in mind that these window dressings can come in handy for keeping rooms cool in summer as well, meaning you may be less reliant on your air conditioning.
Buy efficient appliances
Think carefully when you’re replacing any household appliances too. It’s now easy to find energy efficient versions, and they can save you a small fortune over their lifetimes. Pay particular attention to the energy ratings of fridges and freezers. After central heating, these appliances can be the biggest contributors to home energy bills and they can account for up to a fifth of the electricity used in households.
Change your habits
You might benefit from changing your habits too. For example, don’t leave any external doors or windows open any longer than necessary during the colder months. Also get used to switching your appliances off at the mains when they’re not in use, rather than leaving them on standby.
When it comes to your kitchen, avoid putting warm food in your fridge as this makes the appliances work harder. Also, always fully load your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer before using them, and only heat as much water in your kettle as you actually plan to use. In addition, if you’re signed up to an energy tariff that offers you cheaper electricity off-peak, wash your dishes and clothes overnight.
By following tips like these, you stand to cut your household spending and make checking your energy bills a little less traumatic.