Variable utility fees, like water and power bills, can make planning your monthly budget a challenge. And sometimes, it may feel like your money isn’t stretching as far as you like. But with a few simple changes, you can reduce all of your utility bills. Take a look at these five easy tips and start saving money every month.
Use energy efficient window treatments:
Have you ever felt the heat coming off a window that’s in direct sunlight? That heat can wreak havoc on your monthly electric bills! Use darkening window treatments, lined curtains and drapes or sun shades to reduce the amount of electricity use that’s necessary to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Check out this site to get an idea of what all your window treatment options are. In addition to providing cost savings on your monthly bills, swapping out your window treatments gives you an excuse to redecorate!
Upgrade your appliances to energy-saving models:
Think about how many different major appliances there are in any given home — washer and dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave – the list goes on and on. In most homes, these devices consume the lion’s share of your non-A/C related energy. Luckily, there has been a lot of progress made in recent years with efforts to make appliances more energy efficient. If you have older appliances, consider swapping them out with newer models as your budget permits. You can use a plug-in energy monitor to measure how much power each appliance is using to determine what your biggest energy culprits are. By replacing energy-hogging appliances, you can drastically cut down on your overall power consumption.
Use trees to create natural shade:
Trees that produce large amounts of foliage, such as Ginkgo Biloba, beautify your property and also help you with cooling costs. When less of the sun’s energy reaches your home, the interior temperature cannot rise as quickly. This makes it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature within the home. It even makes a noticeable difference in how often your A/C unit must run to achieve the desired cooling. In hotter states, some power companies even offer homeowners free shade trees to help them save on electrical costs.
Replace water wasting fixtures:
There are lots of fixtures designed to reduce water usage that are affordable and easy to install. If you live in a residence with older water fixtures, this is one of the easiest things you can do to save money on your monthly bills. Better yet – modern designs allow you to save on water without reducing the flow rate down to a glorified drip. In addition to replacing faucets, you can also replace your toilet with a low-flush model. Older toilets can use 3-7 gallons of water per flush. Newer high-efficiency toilets use as little as 1.28 gallons. By reducing the amount of water you use on a daily basis, you’ll start to see water bill savings right away.
Find and seal leaks throughout your home:
We’re not just talking about water leaks, we’re talking about energy leaks. “Leaky” windows and doors let air escape from your home, which contributes to greater electricity usage as your HVAC system struggles to keep up with the air loss. Locate these leaks by feeling around doors and windows for any areas that seem drafty and use tapes or sealants to cover them up.
There can also be leaks present in older appliances. If your refrigerator’s seal is failing, it may be running more than it needs to. If your stove’s seal is not so tight, hot air may be escaping into your house, which means both your stove and your home’s HVAC system may be working double time. Carefully examine your appliances to make sure all the seals are in good shape. If you spot a problem and don’t want to replace the whole appliance, contact a local appliance repair shop to see what it will cost to fix.
Incorporate these simple tips to dramatically reduce your monthly energy costs.