Saving money on your utility bills doesn’t mean you have to take drastic measures or change your entire lifestyle. Often times, adjusting daily habits and simply being more conscious of what’s going on in your home can save you money on your key bills each month. Spending money on a high utility bill can certainly be a major financial blow to your budget. Here are 8 simple ways to save money on utilities.
1.) Inspect and assess- The first step to identifying where you can save money on your utility bills is by performing an energy inspection on your home. It is estimated that half of our utility bills are due to heating and cooling costs, so you will want to eliminate unnecessary usage, as well as find out where air is leaking in and out of cracks. Look for open spaces around windows and doors, and check insulation levels in all areas of your home. This can save you a lot of money on utility bills.
2.) Seal up leaks with caulking or weather strips- After you find out where air is leaking out or into your home, seal up these leaks to prevent unwanted cold or hot air from combating your AC or heating system. Use inexpensive expanding foam or caulking to seal cracks where air is escaping. Also, learn where you can better insulate areas as well; especially in attic space where a lot of hot air can escape through.
3.) Install a programmable thermostat- Being strategic with heating and cooling your home is key in saving money on utility bills. New programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures in your home for different times of day when you will be at work, as well as different times of the year. Based on your family’s schedule, you can set a target temperature higher or lower when you won’t be home. This simple change can end up saving you a lot of money on energy bills by only heating or cooling your home when necessary.
4.) Replace appliances and light bulbs- With new advances in green technologies, companies have come out with amazing products that save you a lot of energy, and therefore money. Spending a little extra money to update appliances to energy efficient ones, can help you save a lot of money in the long run on utility bills. Even just changing out regular incandescent bulbs, for energy saving fluorescent ones can cut electricity bills down a lot. These bulbs last longer and use less energy.
5.) Do the little things- Its not just big changes that need to happen to save money on utility bills, changing daily habits can add up quickly in lowering energy costs. If everyone in your home makes an effort to do little things like turn lights off in unoccupied rooms, using a fan to cool down instead of lowering the thermostat, keeping blinds closed at hours of peak sunlight, and unplugging electronics that aren’t being used (because energy still runs through plugs even when they aren’t on), you can save money on key bills each month.
6.) Change to reusable filters- Waiting a long time to change the filter in your HVAC system makes it much less efficient, and therefore costs you more money to heat and cool your house. Instead of worrying about going out and buying a new filter every time it needs to be changed, invest in a reusable one which you can simply hose off when it gets clogged with dirt and dust. Keeping a clean filter in your AC and furnace unit will help your ventilation systems work more efficiently, and therefore save you money on your energy and utility bills.
7.) Cook and wash strategically- The actions you take each day with water usage and kitchen appliances add up to a higher utility bill. Doing simple things like taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, making sure the dishwasher is full before running it, and only using the oven (which takes a lot of energy to heat up) when needed, can all accumulate to saving money on a lower utility bill. Small changes in everyday habits can mean a big difference when it comes time to pay that energy bill.
8.) Check for alternate plans or suppliers- Being educated about different plans, as well as different energy suppliers available to you, can save you a lot of money on your bills. In states where the electric industry is deregulated, customers can shop around for their own energy provider. Also, ask your utility company about fixed-bill plans, which charge the same set price each month regardless of usage. Crunch the numbers on comparison plans to make sure your saving money on your utility bills with the most efficient plan for your home.