The money I spend on my monthly energy bill often makes me want to build a tree house and hope for the best. Spending money to provide heat, cooling, and electricity, even to a small home can cost a lot. Instead of choosing to save money by living off the land, I have found a few ways to reduce my bills and keep my energy costs in check. Here are five ways to save money by lowering your energy costs. And remember, not only is it good for your budget, it’s good for the planet!
1. Update your appliances. If you have been using the same dishwasher since 1984, it’s probably time to bite the bullet and spend money on some new ones. Investing in energy-efficient appliances will not only give you a modern look in your home, it will help you save money. Look for appliances with an Energy Star label and rating.
2. Change your light bulbs. This is one major way you can save money. Those funny looking swirly numbers are fluorescent bulbs, which use less energy and last much longer than their outdated incandescent brothers. You might have to spend money to initially replace all the bulbs in your house, but you will notice the difference in your energy bill immediately.
3. Check your insulation. If we left the kitchen door open for more than three seconds, my mother would start hollering about how it was NOT her intention to heat the neighborhood. Save money on heating and cooling costs by making sure there is no escapes. Check doors, windows, attics, and basements.
4. Set your thermostat strategically. No need to spend money on keeping the house cool during the day when no one is at home to enjoy it. And in the winter, why not save money by lowering the heat at bedtime, when your family is cozy under blankets and flannel pajamas anyway?
5. Power down. Pay attention to those electronics that are using energy and making you spend money when you don’t even realize it. You might not be on your laptop right now, but if it is plugged in and little lights are blinking, it’s still using energy. The same goes for your dryer, stereo, and other “vampire” appliances that are constant consumers of energy. Save money by simply remembering to unplug and turn off what you are not using them.