I am always keeping an unblinking eye on our household budget.
My parents worked hard and their household budget reflected that effort.
Times are a bit different now. My wife and I both work well over 50 hours a week but, our household budget hasn’t grown along with rising costs. This is why we are very careful about paying attention to that budget. With a growing family, we do our best to save anywhere we can. One of the areas of concern the last few years has been the cost of HVAC. Our home is in an area where the summer heat can be extreme to say the least. This results in the HVAC using a high amount of kilowatt hours in order to cool the house. The utility bill in the summer is simply dominated by the HVAC cooling costs. So, we decided to pay a bit more attention to how we use the HVAC. By doing so, our behavior changed and we began cutting that utility bill significantly. First we went about attempting to keep as much HVAC treated air inside the house. We scoured the house to find any gap or crack that would allow the cool air to seep out. Once the house was sealed up tight, we turned to mitigating the effects of direct sunlight heating. Solar cling went up on all of the windows receiving direct sun during peak heating hours. We also hung drapes as well. However, the biggest difference was made by changing the thermostat setting. We learned to do live with a higher HVAC setting. It really wasn’t even that tough.