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how to save money on your utilities

Updated on September 4, 2016

Water heater

Water heaters (or "hot water heaters" as we call them in the south) are often a hot spot for electricity over consumption. The water heater itself isn't inherently evil but some of our habits are extremely wasteful. Often times, people have a tendency to leave a water heater on.

When a water heater is left on and unattended it maintains the heat of the water. throughout the day, it will reheat the water to the temperature it was set for costing you more money. It is simply unnecessary to keep the water warm through the day.

The best solution is to plan all of your hot water uses around one or two parts of the day. Take baths, wash clothes, and do all of the cooking with the hot water on. Once you are finished, turn it off until the next session or day. It is also important to note that some water heaters don't have an off switch in which case, you would have to turn it on and off at the circuit breaker panel( the gray box on your wall.)

Washer and dryer

The washer and dryer are also key points for energy preservation. People tend to use dryers longer than need be. Washer get used more often than necessary.

Let's start with the washer. First of all, the average person only needs to wash once a week-maximum. As a matter of fact, you have several articles of clothing that you hardly ever wear-why not put them to good use?

Next, it's important to note that just because an article of clothing has been worn once does not necessarily mean it needs to be washed. Worn clothing, that doesn't smell or look bad( excluding underclothing. Wash those after every use) should be hung after each use. The "smell test" isn't perfect but it is good enough to tell when something needs to be washed.

Finally, it would help save power if you used cold water. Cold water works for dirty clothing as long as it is not heavily soiled. For heavily soiled clothing it is best to just use hot water.

Dryers are another story. There are 2 ways one could go about saving money. The most common way is to reduce dryer usage. The easiest and most efficient way is to get rid of the dryer altogether.

Earlier I said that the average person needs to wash clothing once a week or less. A dryer holds more clothing than a washer. Just like a car pool, a dryer can be shared with neighbors. This allows you to only have to dry clothes once biweekly.

The second alternative is to get rid of your dryer altogether. Many people have saved hundreds per year by using a clothesline. Line drying is also easier.

Bathing

There are 3 main tips that can save you water on bathing costs while remaining just as clean and sanitary as you've always been. They involve taking showers, making them shorter, and making them cooler.

First of all, its important to shower rather than taking a bath. Showers result in one third to one fourth of the water usage used to take a bath. Its also more sanitary because your filth washes off as opposed to the choice of sitting in a pool of your own germs.

Secondly, take shorter showers. The average shower lasts 10-15 minutes; the same cleansing effect can be done in 2-5 minutes. Furthermore, it is not necessary to have water constantly flowing on your body. It is enough to turn the water on when rinsing and turn it off while you are soaping your body.

Finally, several people turn the heat on the shower unnecessarily high. If the water you are bathing in produces steam, it is evaporating. Good useful water is being wasted. Turn down the heat of your water heater and save 20% more on your bathing costs.

Repairing leaks

A broken pipe can cost $150 to fix but a leaking pope can cost you hundreds. Maintenance must be done on your plumbing. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you. A good way to tell if you have a leak is to check your water meter. If the meter is turning, turn off all of your water. If the meter stops, you do not have a leak but, if it remains turning, then you have a leak that needs to be repaired. In addition, the faster the meter gauge turns, the more water you are losing and the faster it is leaking.

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