Top 4 Ways Your Home Services Are Costing You Too Much Each Month
You may have found yourself noticing that your income increases are not keeping the same pace as the costs to run your home. You try to cut corners where you can, but rate increases for home services seem to never cease. Here are the top four ways your home services are costing you too much and ways to bring those costs under control.
Your homeowner’s policy is likely tied in with the insurance on your automobiles. You may even have life insurance policies with the same company. On the other hand, you may have different insurance providers for each type of policy. Bundling different coverages with the same company can give you a discount. Also, simply inquiring about discounts or a rate decrease can be very productive. Tell your insurance agent you are paying too much, and ask for the same coverage at a lower rate. You may also be over-insured if you have not reevaluated your coverage for a number of years.
TV, Internet and Phone
The technique used by cable and satellite providers today is to offer you an introductory price for one year with a rate increase the second year. Often, you are stuck with a two-year commitment. If you have kept your end of the deal and are no longer under a commitment, ask for a rate decrease. You may be paying for channels you do not watch. Check your bill for that.
Investigate other providers to get another year at a greatly reduced cost. As for your home phone line, do you even use it? Many families prefer to use their cell phones. Also, you may be paying for Internet service at a speed tier you do not need. Most bandwidth-hungry households can get by with around 50 Mbps without incurring any speed issues.
The energy used by your stove and oven is not as big a deal as what your refrigerator uses on a daily basis. Failing refrigerator compressors, low refrigerant and older technologies can begin to really hike up your electric bill. If you have seen sudden spikes in your electricity usage, suspect the refrigerator. The same goes for furnaces and air conditioning. Any appliance that heats or cools costs the most to operate.
Sometimes, HVAC systems are so inefficient that replacements can actually begin to pay for themselves quickly. Pacific Aire Inc., an HVAC repair and installation company, recommends using only licensed HVAC specialists who obtain necessary permits for each job to prevent liability issues and to guarantee that work is done correctly.
Some states have full utility deregulation, which allows consumers to choose their electricity and natural gas utility providers. There is no change to the pipes and wires. The only change is in who does your billing along with the rates. Places like California offer limited choices for natural gas providers with no choices in electricity suppliers presently. However, taking a close look at your bills over a year and comparing them to a lower rate provider can save you money. Just be aware of minimums and term commitments before signing up. Also, a fixed rate is safer than a variable rate as natural gas is a commodity that can quickly shift in price.
If a service protects your house or comes in through a pipe, a wire or as a signal going to a satellite dish, you might be paying too much per month. If it creates heat to cook, gives you hot water, or warms your home, you might be paying too much per month. The same goes for appliances that cool you in the summer. Any or all of these can quickly become money pits where too much of your hard-earned money ends up. You should check for rate reductions and have appliances inspected at least once annually.