This story is part of, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
With, still-high and spiking , you may face some tough questions. How do you save money on monthly expenses, for example, including ?
The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association warns that heating costs alone could jump more than 17% compared with last winter, outpacing inflation and hitting the highest prices in more than 10 years.
CNET staffers have followed these rising bills over the last several months and have written numerous articles with tips and tricks on how to slash energy bills. There are effective ways to pocket more money each month, and many of them are minor lifestyle changes you can make today.
National average utility bills
In the US, the average family should expect to spend close to $300 every month on electricity, gas, water and sewer bills -- but that price can fluctuate greatly depending on region and usage.
Here's a breakdown of average monthly utility costs, according to Move.org, as well as a breakdown of the 10 states with the highest average utility bills in the US:
- Electricity: $117.46
- Natural gas: $61.69
- Water: $45.44
- Sewer: $66.20
10 States with the Highest Average Utility Bills in the US
Save money on electric and gas bills
Probably the most important utility and the largest utility bill for Americans is electricity. You may have noticed a spike in electricity bills this year, the reason being rising natural gas prices. Natural gas accounts for about 38% of the country's electricity production, so these bills are naturally connected.
Natural gas prices are expected to jump 28% this winter, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Considering many household appliances use natural gas -- including stoves, ovens, dryers, fridge and gas-powered furnaces -- your bill can be considerable.
Here are some tried and true ways to lower your electric and gas bills:
- to one temperature during the winter.
- every time you leave the room.
- when they're not in use.
- Use appliances during to cut down your electric bills.
- Consider upgrading to a
- Invest in for your home.
For renters who may not be able to make any large-scale adjustments, try, energy-saving tips.
Save on water bills all year long
Between showers, sinks, toilets, washing machines and yard work, you probably use more water than you think. The average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water daily, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Altogether, this equates to about $1,000 per year on water bills. Your monthly bill might be lower or higher than this, depending on your location, water usage habits, water-saving tech and other factors.,
It's important to. Here's how:
- you spend in the shower.
- and opt for a shower instead.
- Use cold water when you do .
More tips to save money during the winter
Winter can be a costly time of year for many Americans in colder climates who rely on. Here are a few tips to help you pocket more cash:
- to save on heating.
For all your heating information,.
Learn to save money during the summer too
On average, it costs between $75 and $175 per month to run a central air conditioning system and cool a home in the US. For many Americans in the South and Southwest, summer is the most brutal time of year for expenses.
Here's how to beat the heat without putting a dent in your wallet:
- Try to lower air conditioning costs.
- Learn how to longer.
- to lower your bills.
Keep checking CNET'ssection for more advice on saving money and getting things done around the house.