Owning a home means more than paying the mortgage. You’ll have other recurring expenses, such as your monthly utility bills. While you can’t go without your utilities, there are ways you may be able to reduce the costs to make them more affordable.
Insulate Your Attic
While it will cost you money to insulate your attic, it will pay off in the long run. Since heat rises, any heat your furnace pumps into the house could be lost through the attic if you don’t have proper insulation. Insulating the attic will trap the heat into your house, decreasing the frequency you must your furnace. This may decrease your heating bill as well as decrease the wear and tear on your furnace.
Add a Programmable Thermostat
Is your family out of the house often? Maybe both parents work and the kids are at school. Why spend money heating or cooling the home when no one is home? With a programmable thermostat, you can set the desired temperatures for the times when you know people will be home. You can then reduce the amount of heat or air you use during the times that no one is home.
If you are tolerable enough, you may even use the heat or air less at nighttime. You just have to figure out a temperature that everyone is comfortable enough without suffering.
Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
Many people leave their water heater at the default temperature the technician set it at when installing it. If that temperature is higher than 120 degrees, though, you could be wasting energy. A quick switch of the temperature on your water heater could save you hundreds of dollars per year considering you probably use hot water quite frequently between cleaning, washing dishes, washing clothes, and showers.
Run Your Appliances at Night
Appliances that you can control, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are often less expensive to use at night. Running them during the day means you pay ‘peak fees.’ If you wait until nighttime, you’ll pay less for each use. You may see a significant drop in your utility bills from this simple change.
Stay on Top of Changing Your Air Filters
Don’t make your utilities work harder than they have to by forgetting to change the air filters. Set a reminder on your phone each month to change the air filter. This couple of dollar maintenance chore can save you hundreds of dollars per year on your utilities. It can also save the life of your utilities, as they won’t have to work as hard when you keep them clean and free from debris.
Don’t Leave Appliances Plugged In
It can seem convenient to leave the coffee pot, toaster, and blow dryer plugged in if you use them every day, but you are wasting energy. Any electronic that you don’t need to be plugged in right now or that won’t stop working if you unplug it temporarily shouldn’t be plugged in unless you are using it.
This can take a little getting used to, but this small habit can save you a decent amount of money on your utilities. If you can’t get used to unplugging each item, consider using power strips. This way all you have to remember to do is unplug the power strip each time and you’ll save yourself money.
Don’t Waste Water on Dishes
If you have a dishwasher, stop pre-rinsing your dishes. It’s just an extra step that wastes time and money. If your dishwasher is a newer model, the dishwasher does the work for you. All you have to do is make sure the ‘big’ stuff is off the dishes and the dishwasher will do the rest. This can save on your water usage and expenses throughout the month.
Air Dry as Much as You Can
If you have the time and patience, air-drying your clothes can save you a significant amount of money during the month. But clothes aren’t the only thing you can air dry. You can also air dry your hair and the dishes. The less heat you use, the less money it costs you each month.
If you do have to use the dryer for your clothes or linens, use it as little as possible. If your dryer has an auto sensor, use it so that you don’t overuse the heat.
Keep Up With the Maintenance
If you stay aware of any leaks or other maintenance issues, you can stop wasting energy. Windows and doors can leak air and pipes can leak water for quite a while before you realize it. Take the time to check out your utilities periodically so that you can know what needs fixing right away.
Be Mindful of Overuse
How many times do you leave a room with the light on or run a fan in a room that no one is occupying? Stopping these little habits can help you reduce the amount of energy you use and therefore decrease your utility bills. It may take a little bit of nagging your loved ones, but in the end, you’ll save money and have healthier utilities.