How to Save Money on Your Utilities
Over the years I’ve seen many changes in the cost of running our home. Most of those changes being more expensive utility bills, which seem to be getting out of control.
But there are things we can do to save money on utilities by simply making small changes in the way we do things.
If you’re like me and like to save money while conserving energy here are a few good ways to save money on your utilities.
How to Save on Your Heating Bill
Get a Programmable Thermostat – Set the thermostat temperature lower at night when everyone goes to sleep, and warmer in the morning at wake-up time. If no one is home all day, keep the heat turned down low until everyone comes home.
Install Separate Heating Zones – This means having separate thermostat heating control for different part of your home, like upstairs and downstairs, so you can control heating in different parts of your home to save money.
Weather-Proof and Insulate – Before winter sets in, add insulation to your attic. Put weather-stripping around exterior doors to keep drafts out. Calk the outside of windows and apply clear plastic insulation to the inside of windows to prevent drafts.
Consider a Pellet Stove – Pellet stoves are efficient for heating and easier than chopping wood and storing it. If you are thinking about a pellet stove, also check to see if there are any tax credits available before you purchase it.
Get Your Furnace Cleaned – Ideally you should have your furnace cleaned once a year or two for it to run cleanly and efficiently.
Insulate Your Water Heater Tank – By insulating your hot water tank and water pipes, you can reduce heating costs and help your water stay hotter. You can buy insulation at around $15 at your local hardware store.
How to Save on Your Electricity Bill
Turn Off Electronics – Save electricity by turning off televisions, radios and computers when no one is using them.
Unplug – If you are not going to use something for a while, unplug it. For instance, if you go away for the weekend, unplug small kitchen appliances, TV’s, computers and printers.
Shut the Lights – When you leave a room, turn off the lights. Also, if you are watching TV, reading on a tablet, working on a laptop or listening to music, get use to doing it in dimmer lighting.
Put Lamps on Timers – One way to be sure you don’t forget to turn off a lamp at night time is to plug it into a timer, so that it turns off at the same time every night.
Use CFL Light Bulbs – Swap out for regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamp, (CFL) bulbs to save electricity.
Use a TV Sleep Timer – If you typically fall asleep watching television, use a sleep timer, so that you save electricity and also don’t wake up in the middle of the night.
Add Outdoor Motion Lighting – Outdoor motion lights will turn on when you pull into your driveway or walk up to your front door, so they save energy. Plus, they are ideal for security as well.
Add a Bath Towel to Your Dryer – When drying clothes, add a big dry bath towel to your wet laundry to help clothes dry faster. This also works well if you want to dry a big comforter or throw rug quickly.
How to Save on Your Water Bill
If you’ve ever gotten sticker shock from your water bill, take note of areas that you need to keep an eye on. In any home there’s always a chance of a leaky faucet, so check your faucets regularly for drips.
Also, be sure that faucets are completely turned off in the morning while everyone is rushing to get ready.
In addition to faucets, it’s important to check pipes for leaks. You can do this by checking the pipes that run through your basement and directly looking for dampness underneath sink cabinets.
Another way to save money on water is to replace your shower head with a low flow shower head. Many of these faucets will give you the feel of having strong water pressure for showers, without all the water usage.
How to Save on Cooling Your Home
In warmer climates or during summer heat waves, the coat of cooling your home can really add up, but there are ways to offset these costs and keep home cool.
First, consider air conditioning for separate zones in your home. It also helps to run it at higher temperature, just to get the moisture out of the air.
Or try window air conditioners to cool only certain rooms. Other areas of your home may benefit from ceiling fans with windows and sliders open.
Also, when it’s warm, consider small appliance cooking. You can make complete meals in a crockpot or even a toaster oven without heating up your entire home with oven heat.
Save on Your Cable TV, Internet and Phone Bill
These days it seems like the cost of cable TV, Internet and phone service are on the rise, but there is a lot of providers out there, which can mean more savings for you.
The key to getting better rates is negotiation and looking into different bundles. Sometimes it’s better to cancel your services and start over as a new customer somewhere else, to take advantage of introductory rates.
I’ve actually been told by my cable TV provider that cancelling the service that’s in my husband’s name and reopening the account in my own name would save us money.
Also, Internet streaming options like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu offer a great variety of TV shows and movies at a fraction of the cost of cable TV services and are worth looking into as an alternative to cable TV.
You can also try using an HD TV antenna to get access to all your local channels. HD antennas can be purchased for under $30.oo and can really save you money.
If you have some great tips on saving money on utilities, I would love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to comment below!