Are you perplexed on how to slash your utility bills?
Last month, I put out a little survey on Facebook asking what followers struggle with the most when it comes to finances. I got a lot of really great answers and also, some fantastic topics for blog posts.
One of my friends said she understands how to save money on things like groceries, clothes, and all other items that vary from month to month but what she doesn’t know is how to save on the things that seem to be more fixed amounts like utilities.
I can give you a few ideas on how to save money on utility bills.
Save on Heating and Cooling
No matter what part of the country you live in, you are always going to need either heating or cooling. Or like me, both. Some heating and air conditioning units can be terrible energy hogs.
But there are a few money-saving hacks that you can incorporate to help save a little bit of money on your energy bill.
1. Make sure all windows are closed up tight when running your heat or air. The last thing you want to do when paying for temperature control is to have it all go out the window!
Look for any cracks or spaces where air can pass. Consider a plastic window kit or weather stripping where needed.
2. In the summer, try sheer curtains, blinds or solar shades to keep the sun from warming up your room. There is also a tinted window film that you can put on your storm door or windows, too. The reverse goes for the winter. Open up those curtains and let the sunshine in.
3. When it is freezing, use thermal insulated or lined curtains to keep your home warm.
4. Keep the heat down and the cool up automatically with a programmable thermostat. We have one of these, and we love it.
We set it, so it automatically goes down in temperature at night in the winter and then stays at a comfortable temperature during the day.
It has saved us a lot of money over the years in heating costs. If you have air conditioning units in your windows, keep those at a temperature that you find bearable.
If your air conditioning is on and you have to put a sweater on or throw a blanket on your lap while you are watching tv, you might have room to make some adjustments.
5. Perform regular maintenance on your heating and cooling equipment. Every year before we put the air conditioners away, I take them outside on a folding table, take them all apart and scrub them down.
There are a few great videos on Youtube showing you how to do it. Don’t be concerned. I have done it for years and haven’t lost one yet.
Also, make sure you are changing any filters and cleaning any ductwork that you can get to so the heat can pass without obstruction.
6. Consider upgrading any outdated heating and cooling appliances for more energy-efficient ones. According to experts at the department of energy, you can save up to 30% on your energy bills in the long run.
Save Money on Electric or Gas
I am a fan of Instant Pots and Crock Pots. Anything that I can do to make my life easier, I am a fan. Add the idea that they can reduce my energy usage, and its a winner, winner (yummy chicken dinner)!
But there are lots of frugal alternatives that will reduce your electric and gas usage. Smaller appliances are just cheaper to operate than larger ones.
We are experiencing a heatwave right now, and I used my Instant Pot to make dinner. Worked great!
8. Self-clean your oven in the colder months to help warm up your house. Doing it right after you have baked is a perfect time for energy saving because the temperature is already more than halfway there!
9. Using glass or ceramic cookware in the oven will cook your food faster and use less energy. They hold heat better than aluminum so you won’t need to run your oven as long.
10. Consider plugging everything into a power strip and turning it off or unplugging it when not in use. Many appliances have a light that continues to glow even when not in use.
Most appliances also use something called phantom power. You are paying for this. Unplugging things when not in use will save you money on your electric bill.
11. Turn things off when you leave the room. If you aren’t in the living room, you don’t need to have the lights or the tv on.
12. Rely on natural lighting or chose task lighting. Turn on a lamp or even better, a book light run by batteries when you are reading or sewing instead of the overhead light.
15. Air dry your clothes. This will work outside in the beautiful weather and inside on a drying rack when it is cold. The moisture from the wet clothes will also help with the dry air that results from running heat.
16. Wash clothes in cold water. It is better for your clothes and your wallet. I wash only whites in hot water.
Our village is in the process of putting water meters in everyone’s house. We have never had to be conscious of our water consumption, so this is an area I am going to have to put in some serious thought!
17. Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face. There is no reason to keep it running. My husband brushes his teeth in the shower. He’s a smart cookie!
18. When waiting for hot water to heat up, fill a pitcher and use it to fill the pet’s water bowl, water your plants or fill your water pitcher in the refrigerator.
19. Look for leaks. Check your basement and pay attention to a continuously running toilet. Take care of these as soon as possible. It will save you much more than it will cost you to fix it.
20. Set a timer for showers. A teenage boy does not need to spend 30 minutes in the shower!! I can do it in 15 minutes, and I have a lot to do there!
21. Switch out your regular shower head for a low flow shower head that will help you conserve water.
22. Consider eliminating things like landlines and cable. If everyone has a cell phone and you all would rather be watching Youtube or Netflix, you might want to explore the idea.
23. Insulate outlets. Have you ever felt a draft when putting your hand near an exterior wall outlet? Grab some of those foam outlet insulators. Every little bit helps!
24. Consider adding insulation to your attic.
25. Many electric companies will come to your home and do a home energy audit for free. We had one done years ago, and they came with a whole box of free stuff like weather stripping and light bulbs.
26. Lower the temperature on your hot water tank. It is recommended not to go higher than 120 degrees.
I suggest turning your hot water up to the maximum and then adjusting that to the temperature that is most comfortable. It doesn’t need to be any higher than that.
27. Invest in dimmer switches for lights. We have these and enjoy them. If you are going to replace your light bulbs in the lights with dimmer switches, you will need a specific type of lightbulb.
28. Insulate your water heater with a cozy blanket. Keep that heat in.
29. Upgrading your windows to new, more energy-efficient windows if they are older will undoubtedly save you money. Although this is a more significant expense, it might be worth putting some serious thought into.
30. If you are not using it, turn it off or unplug it – the little clock on your microwave, the lights, the baby monitor, the coffee maker. Every little bit will help.
Final Thoughts On Ways To Slash Your Utility Bills
I have come up with a generous list of ways to save money on your energy bill and ways to cut down on your energy usage. The real truth is wae all have things that we keep plugged in when we are not using it. We have those energy hogs at out finger tips and we don’t put too much thought into how much money we are spending because we can’t immediately see the energy leaving the clock.
Try it for a month and see what your energy usage looks like.
Email me with any tips you might have or comment below.