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How to Save Money on your Utility Bills

Updated on January 28, 2012

Insulation in Progress

The brown is the old insulation, the pink the new.  While blown-in insulation is what was already there and that's what is recommended that you add, roll-in is way easier to handle.
The brown is the old insulation, the pink the new. While blown-in insulation is what was already there and that's what is recommended that you add, roll-in is way easier to handle. | Source
Oh, yeah, pay attention to what you're doing.  I tripped and fell through the ceiling.  That's the hole.  The dirt on the floor is the old insulation.
Oh, yeah, pay attention to what you're doing. I tripped and fell through the ceiling. That's the hole. The dirt on the floor is the old insulation. | Source

Bigger isn't More Expensive

About a year ago my wife and I bought a new house. It was twice the size of our old one, so I was a bit worried about what the utilities would run when we moved in. Here are a few things we did to keep the expenses at the new house down. I think it worked, because we're paying less now than we were at the old house.

Insulation is Key

One of the corners that seems to have been cut--a lot--in the past when houses were built was adequate insulation. Insulation keeps the weather outside, where it needs to be. Both Lowe's and Home Depot have calculators online that will help you determine how much insulation you need. Bear in mind that if you live somewhere hot, you may need as much insulation as someplace really cold. You have to keep the heat and cold out. Insulation does that.

Tankless Water Heaters Make Sense

The house we bought had a water heater in the attic. I thought that was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. We replaced it with a tankless, exterior heater. If I had to do it again, I would not use an exterior model. Especially if you live anywhere with harsh winters.

However, it gives us unlimited hot water on demand. Since it only heats water when needed, it keeps both the gas and water bills to a minimum. We live in dry west Texas, which is in perpetual drought, so it makes sense.

Rheem Water Heaters

The Rheem water heater at the bottom is the exterior version like I installed.  It works great.
The Rheem water heater at the bottom is the exterior version like I installed. It works great. | Source

New Appliances Can Make a Difference

We'd also bought a high-efficiency washer shortly before we moved. It reduces cost by using less water. Less water reduces both water and water heating costs. While the washing times are longer than with traditional washers, the overall efficiency still makes the money come out ahead.

What is Left?

The other two major places that houses lose heat are the windows and doors. While the new house does have storm windows over the normal windows, there are a few missing that we need to replace. That should help keep costs down when done.

We also need to replace the exterior doors and add some storm doors that actually do something. As my wife Liz has pointed out, it's noticeably cooler by the doors in the winter.

LG HG Washer

We picked our washer by checking out Consumer Reports.  The LG model we picked was highly rated.
We picked our washer by checking out Consumer Reports. The LG model we picked was highly rated. | Source

Simple Things Anyone Can Do:

The easiest thing we did is something I picked up back in college when I had a very limited budget: I closed off the rooms that I wasn't using. Why pay to heat and cool the spare bedroom, formal living room, dining room, and hallway? The rooms we use, we heat and cool. When we have company, we'll open the vents in the other rooms. Until then, why pay for something we don't need? It will save you more than you expect.

Have you got some tips?

Have you got some tips to tell? Please, let us know in the comments!

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    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 5 years ago

      Great tips for saving energy. We close doors to rooms we don't use. That practice saved us about $40 last month.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good information and suggestions, and we would all like to save money on our utilities. Thanks. SHARING