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Giving The Utility Companies Less Money
It seems like whenever you try to find information on how to save money on utilities the first thing you are told is to buy energy efficient appliances. While these appliances are a good idea the reality is if most of us could afford to go out and buy all new appliances we probably wouldn't be looking for ways to lower our utility bills!
So read on for some practical suggestions on how to cut a little bit off of your utility bills. It's amazing how by simply utilizing some simple strategies, you can save money every month.
- Use cold water whenever possible. Whenever you turn on the hot water it uses energy, even if the hot water never reaches the faucet.
- Add weather stripping around all of your doors and windows. This keeps the heat from leaking out in the winter time. Also, keeping your curtains shut will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat in your home. This way, the heat is automatically turned down during the hours you are at work and turned back up right before you arrive home. If you can't afford a programmable thermostat, simply make it a habit to turn the heat down before you leave for work.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home. While they are a little more expensive, they use less energy and last much longer than incandescent bulbs, saving money in the long run.
- Unplug appliances and phone chargers while not in use. They drain electricity, even when they aren't being use. Every night before you go to bed, be sure to check all of your lights and electronics and make sure they are turned off. It may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, the money you save will really add up.
- Wash your laundry in cold water. The clothes will get just as clean and you will save money!
- Install a low-flow shower head. You will use less water and have less water to heat. If your water is metered, you will also save on your water bill.
- Don't run the dishwasher or washing machine unless you have a full load. The machines use the same amount of energy, no matter what size the load is.
- To help your refrigerator run more efficiently, clean the coils in the back and the air intake grill in the front every few months.
- Shake your clothes out before you put them into the dryer. This helps them dry faster. Even better, use a clothes line if you have one. They require no energy and your clothes will smell fantastic.
- Clean out your dryer's lint filters after every load. Make sure the exhaust hose is not blocked.
- If your clothes aren't very dirty, use a shorter wash cycle.
- When using your dishwasher, open the door and let the dishes air dry after they are washed.
- When cooking on a range top, cover the pot. This holds heat in and causes the food to cook faster.
- Close the damper on your fireplace when it is not being used. This keeps heat from escaping.
- When buying new appliances, electronics, or something as simple as a light bulb, check the packaging to see if it has an Energy Star logo. These products tend to be more energy efficient and will save you some money in the long run.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Nobody needs their water scalding hot, and you will save quite a bit by simply turning the temperature down a few degrees.
- Change the filters on your heating/air conditioning system on a regular basis. It may seem like it's costing you money to change these filters on a regular basis, but a clean filter helps the unit run more efficiently, using less energy and saving you money.
- Pay your bill on time. Many utility companies add a late charge to bills which aren't paid by the due date. These late charges can eat up all of your energy savings in a hurry.
- Not everyone can afford to get new, energy efficient appliances. However, if you can afford it, it is a good idea to do so. Not only will you save on your monthly utility bills, but many states offer rebates for homeowners who purchase these appliances.