Electricity and water are necessary costs in our day to day lives, but excessive use can lead to outrageous monthly utilities bills. Especially during this time of year, when the temptation to leave the air conditioning on all day is strongest, it’s important to be diligent when it comes to using utilities responsibly. If you’re concerned about saving money on your monthly bills, then we have a few tips to help you save your hard earned money.
Turn It Down
I personally heat up fairly easily during the summer months, so when I turn on the AC it’s always tempting to turn the temperature down to the 60s and enjoy the cool air. However, you don’t need to turn the air conditioning down low or the heat up high to feel a noticeable difference in comfort. Opting to keep the temperature hovering in the low seventies rather than the mid 60s can still keep you cool and comfortable while using less energy. More money can be saved by keeping in mind when you’ll be away from home and adjusting temperatures accordingly.
Additionally, setting your water heater to a lower temperature can also save you money over time. Even just a small change from 140 degrees to 120 can save you at least $2 a month, so it’s something to consider.
Turn It Off!
This is both the simplest and most easily overlooked item on the list, as turning off appliances when you don’t need them is one of the best habits a homeowner can develop. All lights, fans, and similar appliances should be turned off when you’re not in the room, as well as electronics that have a “standby” mode like computers and video game consoles. Unplugging appliances and power strips can make a difference as well, especially if you’ll be away from home for several days.
I was a strong advocate of pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the washer, but the truth is most newer dishwashers simply don’t require it. Pre-rinsing all of your dishes uses more water than you might think, so cutting out this habit could save you up to $70 a year. If you’re unsure whether your washer is capable of rinsing food off of dishes on its own, just give it a try anyway. If your dishes come out clean, then you know you can start saving both time and money!
Air drying your clothes, hair, and dishes can save you quite a lot of money, which could be worth the fact that it takes a little while longer. Start by line drying your clothes when possible, and change your dishwasher settings to air dry instead of heat dry. Keeping your clothes drying rack under a ceiling fan can even help speed the process along.
When you do need to use your dryer, be sure to clean the lint screen before each use. This helps it run more efficiently as well as prevents fires, and is a habit that should be practiced for all other air filters in the home.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Cheap
When it comes to your water use, it’s okay to be stingy. Adjust to a lower water setting when doing laundry, don’t let the faucet keep running while you brush your teeth or hand wash dishes, and absolutely pay attention to how much time you spend in the shower. Consider swapping your shower heads and faucets with low-flow replacements to save additional bucks. Being stingy could save you 20% on your water expenses.
Check For Leaks
If you ever have an abnormally high water bill, it could be the result of a hidden leak. If you’re suspicious you might have a leak, know for sure by checking your water meter before bedtime and then again when you wake up. If the numbers have changed, it’s time to go searching for leaks or hire a plumber.
Running the air conditioner or the heater won’t do you much good if you have drafty windows. Make sure all of your windows are sealed, and consider adding heavy insulated curtains for increased energy efficiency.
Be Energy Efficient
When your replacing new fixtures and appliances, always go for the most energy efficient options. You could even opt for “smart” appliances that switch themselves off when there’s no one to use them, or can be turned off remotely through your phone. Check out our blog on smart appliances for more information.
Make Some Cuts
Certain utilities are out of date or unnecessary now that we have more modern options. Eliminating land line phone and cable services can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Few people really need a land line these days, as cell phones are much more convenient. I haven’t had cable in years, either, and thanks to services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, I barely even notice that it’s missing.
We hope you find this list helpful. By implementing even just a few of these strategies, you can save yourself anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars a year that could be better spent on other things. If you’re planning a remodel soon and would like to implement energy efficient design options, call Divine Home Remodeling today!