How Can I Save Money on My Monthly Energy and Utility Bills Any Tips?

in general it's common sense. do not run ac or heat unless needed, turn off lights when not needed, does not leave windows/doors open when heat/ac is on. use water conservatively. there may be some maintenance/repairs needed to cut utility bills- new LED bulbs, weather seal, caulk, insulate. fix leaky faucets and clean out HVAC filers to improve efficiency. not quite sure how much your bills are... for family of 4- $120 electric, my portion only 26 bucks. I use all LED lamps which offsets my heavy computer use. my parent's portion the majority is used by the CFL's which are neither efficient or long lasting. $66 water, big portion is used for gardening. the region is dry so we need alot of water. if no gardening the bill will be $36 (referencing old bills prior to gardening) gas is around $20. gas used for heater, water heater, and laundry. i know the biggest energy suckers is AC, even a high efficiency new unit will still suck alot of power. where we live, when it's hot, it's really hot. every year we spend at least 50 days in 85 weather, which in the house can get above 95 degrees. worse, it's humid, so we can not readily cool off thru sweat/fans. despite this we've run the AC maybe 4 hours a day no more than 7 times a year. that's really conservative use! each of those times either the temps topped 100 outside or we had guests. in the summer months thanks to our conservative use we get a break on the rates since we used less than everyone else. we have high efficiency (83 energy star) heater and water heater. and gas is really cheap so even in the winter months our gas bill barely budges. we run the heater more often than the AC, but still conservatively. only when it's really cold, and only when we are at home. we turn it off about an hour prior to bed time. so it's being run 2-3 hours a day. if you are doing the same then you need to really try to turn off lights, use less water, etc, because to have a high bill with the other things you are probably being *really* wasteful. another big sucker we did not have 20 years ago is technology. bundle the services if possible and cut what you do not use much. for us we have alot of TV things like HBO and premium movie channels but we rarely use them anymore. cutting the TV will save more than $120 a month. we do not do much texting or web browsing on the phones. since you have kids they probably text alot and use the web alot. it's probably resulting in a high bill. either you find a plan that has free texting and high bandwidth plans or you teach your kids to be more conservative. i never got into texting, i thought it was retarded (this was 2004 and texting/cell phones for kids was still in it's infancy). my brother was into it alot and my dad would get very upset when because of him, the bill was $150 more than i should be. minutes is another issue that may need addressing, my brother racked up high bills due to texting and minutes use. i did not even know there's that many minutes in a month! to cut on those, either find a more suitable cell plan or teach the kids to be more conservative. examples would be to only use the G-4 (or whatever it's called) wireless internet for emergencies, all other times if there's no free wifi you simple do not have internet. use minutes for efficiently, do not go blabbing about pointless things alot, and text only when needed (or it's coming out of their allowance!)

1. A/C heater unit fair price?

You are talking about a complete system replacement would be about $4000. You have to upgrade to a higher efficiency A/C unit than you have now because the supply houses do not sell 10 SEER units anymore. The lowest is 12 SEER so unfortunately there's no choice. There are a range of options for furnaces and I gave you the price for a 95% (that's what i charge here in Jersey mind you LA may be more). The higher efficiency furnace puts more heat into your home than up the chimney than your old one so at least you will save some money in running it. Check out Coleman- that's what i install and I have not had a complaint. They are great units.

2. Electric central heater will not heat.?

if you have a heat pump then go outside and see if it is coming on when you call for the heat. if it is not then you are not getting the heat from there and the unit may be running on emergency heat only which is the strip heater . these are not meant to provide your sole heating just to help when the temp outside gets to low for the heat pump to work . if the heat pump is running then check an see if the big copper line is getting hot . if is not but unit and compressor are running the you prob. need freon

3. hot water heater not staying lit?

whats the brand , may be gas valve?

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