Your Home IS Your Business


Your Home IS Your Business

What if you ran your your home like a business? We’re not suggesting you sell burgers, fries and shakes on your front porch. We’re suggesting taking a look at expenses like any business owner does and find ways to save money by being more efficient. After all, your home IS your business, in a matter of speaking.

First Things First

The first thing to do would be to set up a system of record keeping. This is the holiday season, and everyone is busier now than probably any other time of the year. So let’s start with something simple like your utility bill.

After your mortgage or rent payment and maybe an automobile payment, your utility bill is the next single highest outflow of cash you have. Wouldn’t it make sense to manage it more efficiently? You can look at your past energy expenditures either online or if that’s not available, look at your checkbook to see how much you spent on heating your home last December.

Let’s say you spent $500 on utilities last December. Certainly there are variables involved with dealing with utilities. The biggest variable is the weather. Last December might have been mild or it might have been frigid. If there is a drastic swing in the temperature from one year to the next, there isn’t too much we can do about that. However, if we become more efficient, and focus on efficiency, our utility bills will be lower than they normally have been.

Set Goals

If we set a goal to be 10% more efficient this December than last, and our utility bill reflects this 10% more in efficiency due to our efforts, your utility bill should be $50 less than last year. Instead of paying the utility company $500, you’ll pay them $450. That’s $50 you’ve just saved, earned, kept, however you want to think about it.

Efficiency Suggestions

There are lots of suggestions of how to become more efficient with your home’s energy usage, and they are not suggestions that will cause you to be cold or uncomfortable. Here are a few:

  • Open your curtains or window coverings and let sunshine in during the day.
  • Close those same window coverings at night.
  • Buy or use a glass front on your fire place and remember to close the flue when the fireplace is not in use. For all the warmness of a fire, cold air is being pulled into the house elsewhere.
  • Try using your ceiling fans on a low speed. Heat rises and can be pushed back down with a ceiling fan especially if you have high or sloped ceilings.
  • Move furniture away from vents.
  • Seal any air leaks you can find in your home. Think attic, windows, doors.
  • Keep certain rooms toasty by closing doors.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. (more below)

Programmable Thermostats

If you are serious about beginning to operate your home like a business (at least the expenditure aspect), then you also need to consider investing in items than can cause your overall expenditures to decrease. A programmable thermostat can do just that.

A programmable thermostat might cost anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars depending on the brand and the features. A programmable thermostat will keep your utility bill lower and your efficiency higher.

Let’s look at it from a “business-like” point of view. For instance, if your average utility bill is $400, you’re spending $4800 per year on utilities. You can check your own expenditures fairly easy by going online or taking a look at past expenditures in your checkbook.

If a programmable thermostat can save you 10% percent on your utility bill (this is a low estimate, by the way) you will stand to save $480 over the course of a year. Every year. So a one time investment in a programmable thermostat will yield you savings of much more than the item costs.

Replace Your Old System With A New Energy Efficient System

Another investment which at some point in time you, as a homeowner, will have to make, is replacing your home’s comfort system with a new, more efficient system. Today’s systems are up to 50% more efficient than systems built just a few years ago. 50% greater efficiency means using 50% less energy.

Bunn’s and Bennett Heating and Air Conditioning is here to assist you with answers to your questions. Bunn’s and Bennett is a licensed and insured HVAC dealer having served Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley for more than 32 years. You may reach us at 256-536-0967 or email us at [email protected].

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