Each month, you slug through your bills, hoping your paycheck will get you by for another 30 days. Most of the time, one of the biggest fears is opening your utility bills and finding out how much it has cost you to stay cool or warm for the previous month.
After a divorce, when it’s not only your responsibility to pay the bills but also to control their size, it’s important that you expand your bag of money-saving tricks to keep the thermostat from wrecking your financial progress.
Now we’ve mentioned the thermostat, but that’s just one part of the whole equation. Everything you do in your home can play a part in what it costs to keep it at a comfortable temperature. It’s up to you to take the lead and keep it under control. Here are some tips that go beyond just caulk and insulation.
Your home may seem nice and clean, but the fact is that even the most fastidious dusting won’t get all the airborne stuff in the house. In time, that material accumulates in all the air-handling parts of your heating and cooling system. That includes vents, ducts, returns, and fans. Changing the filter is very important will certainly help, but that’s not the whole story.
Over the long haul, you will save a ton of money by getting the system professionally cleaned. Jon Wayne Heating & Air can do the deep, skilled cleaning that the average homeowner can’t even imagine, much less accomplish. And the outcome will not only save power but will also extend the life of moving parts, saving you some really nasty bills down the road.
Handling Mother Nature
If the extent of your temperature management each day is to religiously adjust the thermostat when you leave for work, you are costing yourself a lot of money. The sun is a major player in your utility bills. In the summer, you want to exclude it and save degrees; in the winter, you want to capture as much of its warmth as possible.
Your tool in managing solar energy is your window blinds. If you’ve got cheap discount-store stuff in your windows, you’re not excluding as much as you should. An attempt at an afternoon nap can demonstrate that. Invest in some better blinds that truly block the sun, and be sure to leave them closed when you’re not home during the summer.
Hopefully you get some good time with your kids. And while it’s easy to be indulgent during those limited visits, try confine your reckless parenting to mealtime and curfews. Condition your kids to keep doors and windows closed. If Rover needs to go outside, see that he’s supervised from the porch and not from the threshold.
Your kids may also have watched too many reality shows about bakeries, and they may take advantage of your time with them to experiment in the oven. Read that as “heating up the entire house to waste groceries”. But it’s okay as long as you manage it well; try to encourage baking in the fall and winter rather than on warmer days, and whenever they do it, aim for the evening hours when the impact on the house won’t be quite so pronounced.
A lot of things change after a divorce. Financially, you may find yourself extra-strapped. It’s important to do everything you can to stay ahead of the curve on your bills, and good maintenance and good habits can definitely take some of the sting out of your utility costs.