Get Control of Your Budget with These Fall-Time Chores

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Fall-Time Chores

With summer drawing to a close, it’s time to prioritize household maintenance that will lower your utility bills this fall.

You’ll want to take a look at these tips and tricks. With winter just around the corner, the work you do now can prep your budget for when you crank the heat.

Why the Fall is the Right Time for This Work

If you live in one of the colder states like Minnesota, where temperatures start to drop as soon as September, you’ll always pay more for utilities as the fall shifts into winter.

This year, however, there’s a good chance you’ll notice your utilities are higher than usual. Energy bills are on the rise everywhere as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis has throttled the world’s gas supply, causing fuel costs to skyrocket.

On top of that, a record-high inflation rate is pushing prices even higher. This is addition to the increases you may have seen last year. According to the Pioneer Press, Minnesotans saw their utility bills more than double this past winter.

The first time your utility bills spike, you can fall back on your line of credit to help you smooth out your budget. A personal line of credit in Minnesota is a convenient backup in such emergencies. But for as good as it is in urgent situations, a line of credit isn’t a permanent solution to rising costs.

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When your ongoing energy bills are too much for your budget, you need another approach—and it all starts with the right winterization chores.

4 Things You Can Do This Fall to Lower Your Bills

Try these seasonal tasks every year. They’ll help offset inflation’s rising costs and keep your home in better shape.

1. Call in an HVAC Professional

Think of your HVAC system like a car—it needs an annual tune-up to be in its best shape. A general visit may set you back by about $100, but consider it an investment. A quick tune-up helps ensure your furnace runs efficiently, and it may help you avoid an expensive breakdown in the future.

2. Seal Drafts & Repair Weatherstripping

You don’t want to spend all that money tuning up your furnace only to let hot air escape your home this winter. That’s exactly what can happen if the seals around your windows or doors are damaged. Take some time to inspect these areas, making sure to fill in gaps or replace spoiled weatherstripping. This winterization task could wind up cutting your annual energy costs by 20%.

3. Stock up on Furnace Filters

Last winter’s dirty filter can cause your furnace to work overtime to blow air through your vents. Switching out your filter every three months or so not only prolongs your furnace’s life, but it can also save up to 15% on your bills.

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4. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Did you know you can save another 15% of your heating bills simply by changing the direction of your ceiling fans? In the winter, your ceiling fan blades should turn clockwise. Warm air rises, and your fan can redistribute this heat down to the floor, giving your furnace a break.

The Takeaway:

A little elbow grease at the start of the fall can help you ride out rising utility bills. Remember these tips to reduce your output and keep your money safe.