How to save money on utilities is a question so many people are asking these days. With so many people out of job and an economy in crises, more and more people are saving money or at least thinking about it.
And when it comes to household expenses, utility bills are often some of the major expenses. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans shell out 6% to 12% of their total earnings for utility bills each and every year.
Whether you live in an apartment or a house, there are always ways to save money on utility bills. The following are 20 easy, cheap and fast methods of saving money on your electric, gas and water bills.
1- Instead of Incandescent Bulbs Use Fluorescent Light Bulbs
A normal light bulb or incandescent light bulb uses heat to generate light. The problem with that is producing that heat in the first place, burns lots of energy and that is what makes incandescent bulbs extremely inefficient.
On the other hand, a fluorescent bulb uses a completely different system which doesn’t rely on heat as much to generate that light. And that is why a fluorescent bulb can generate between 50 to 100 lumens per watt as compared to a normal light bulb which generates about 15 lumens per watt. Now, you do the math? which one is more cost efficient?…
Now, you may be asking “right, but a fluorescent bulb can cost as much as $7, so where is the saving in that?”. The saving is in fluorescent bulbs lasting almost ten times longer than normal light bulbs, not to mention the fact that each fluorescent light can also save an average household about $60 in electricity over its lifetime.
2- Get a Low Stream Shower Head
Through decreasing the volume of water streaming from those long showers you and your family enjoy on a daily basis, it is possible to significantly lower your monthly water bill.
3- Open And Close Sun Shades Properly
Perhaps it will help you save just a little bit, however , in the daytime allow the sunlight in and after sunset add a bit of padding to those frosty windows.
4- Use Area Rugs When Possible
I had to spend quite a while to realize this, but it is amazing how doing something simple as putting down an area rug on a hardwood floor can make such a huge difference.
5- Seal Those Windows And Doors
When you’ve got cool air leaking through every hole and crack around your doors and windows, it will without a doubt make your heating unit work harder in order to maintain the warmth in your house. For just a couple of dollars for each tube of caulk, it really is a little financial investment that will give you a huge profit.
6- Pull The Plug!
Did you know that as much as 40% of the total energy that is used to run electronics in an average household, is consumed when the those devices are actually off.
That is a staggering number if you think about it. Considering the fact that all it takes to save that %40 energy and the money that will be spent on it, is to simply pull the plug off. It is amazing that so many of us still don’t do it.
You can either turn them off one by one or invest $20 or so on one of those Smart Power Strips that will allow you to turn everything off with just one switch. This thing will pay for itself in less than 2 months or so.
7- Only Utilize Lights When It Is 100% Required
My spouse and I don’t switch the lights on in our home prior to the sun going down, due to the fact that our house gets an abundance of sun light anyway. A great number of of people routinely leave the lights on 24 hours a day even though they don’t really need them.
8- Set The Heater And AC Device On Automatic Thermostats
By doing this you are able to specify a single temp intended for the day and another one for the night-time. That enables you to save a bunch of cash in the process for the reason that they no more consume energy for hours on end.
With that in mind, turn down the temperature during sleep since your bed is able to keep you comfortably warm until you wake up.
9- Save Rain Water
Mount rainwater barrels or perhaps cisterns below downpours to save the rain water. Preserving rain will substantially reduce your outside water bill.
10- Wash With Cold Water
You can save as much as 50% on energy use by using cold water instead of hot water when washing clothes. Except in cases where you have very heavy marks, cold water totally gets the job done.
My mom has been washing clothes with cold water for decades without any harmful effects.
11- Consider Line Drying
Instead of running that drier, consider line drying during summer months or whenever its warm out.
12- Run The Dish Washer When It’s Really Full
I know lots of people who run their dishwashers half empty. The fact is, more than 2/3 of the energy a dishwasher uses is used to heat a set amount of water. Don’t let that energy be wasted by running half empty load.
If you want to take it one step further, you can air dry your dishes to save even more energy.
13- Have Your Furnace Tuned Every 2 Years
Did you know you can easily save around 10% on your heating bills by tuning your furnace every two years or so. Again, it may cost you a bit to have your furnace tuned, but think of it as an investment that pays you back each and every day you use your furnace.
14- Consider Buying An Energy efficient Refrigerator
Older model freezers and refrigerators consume considerably higher amount of energy as opposed to new models. To put it in perspective, consider the fact that in just the last few years, energy star standards have been modified so much so that they now have a saving rate of about 40 percent compared to 2001.
To find out about whether your current refrigerator or freezer is up to the current standards and/or how much energy they use, visit EnergyStar.gov.
If you are using older models, it may be a wise investment to get a newer model that will ultimately save you more money in energy savings than it costs you to buy it.
15- Turn The Damn Water Off
“Don’t forget to turn off the water when brushing your teeth!”. I remember as a kid I used to hear this all the time, but it seems like adults are the ones who actually need this advice.
Plug the sink to see exactly how much water you are wasting when you leave it on as you brush your teeth, shave your face or hand wash dishes. Now, x that by 2-3 (times a day) x 365 (days a year) and you can see how much water and cash you are really wasting. If saving money is important to you, you should definitely do this!
16- Use Cold Water For Garbage Disposal
Save money by not making your water heater work harder by using cold water to run the garbage disposal. Plus, you get to extend the life of your sink, pipes and disposal. Why?…
Because unlike hot water, cold water helps grease solidify inside the pipes, allowing it to easily come off and that can save you lots of money in the long run by keeping your drainage system cleaner and in service for longer.
17- Install a Rapid-Delivery Hot Water Kit
You turn on the water, but you don’t touch it until it reaches the optimum warm temperature for your beautiful hands! That is how about 40 gallons of water is wasted every single day by an average household. That is a lot of water and money wasted down the drain!
You can save all that water and money by investing a few dollars on a Rapid-Delivery Hot Water Kit which allows the hot water to rich the faucet in about 15 seconds or less.
18- Use Microwave Instead Of Oven
This may not be for everyone and every situation, but it can save you lots of energy and money. Whenever you can, use your microwave instead of the oven. A Microwave uses half as much as energy as a conventional oven saving you 50% in energy bill.
19- Run Major Appliances In Off-Pick Hours
This one is so easy that it just baffles me when I see people ignoring it. You can save money on your utility bills by simply running your major appliances like dishwasher, dryer and washer during the off-peak hours (hours that public energy consumption is lower).
To find out off-pick hours in your area, give your local utility company a ring and ask, they will be more than happy to answer.
20- Water Your Lawn Early Morning
Gardening and taking care of your grass uses lots of water. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of saving rain water to use for your yard, then try to water your plants and grass during the early hours of the morning, preventing the heat of the mid day sun burning off lots of that moisture.
We all learn how to make money in some way or another, saving money is no different, we have to learn how to spend less and save more.
I know many of you may think “oh well, saving a few dollar on my electricity or water bills is not going to make me rich”. But the truth is while you may not get rich by saving on your utility bills, the amount of money you save each and every month can add up quickly and that money can be used to make you and your family’s life better.