If you’ve thought that your gas and electric bills are getting higher – you’re right. Every year, they increase by nearly 2%. Heating, plumbing, and electricity are all necessities in the home, and there’s no way around paying them.
How can you conserve money to compensate for the increase in pricing? There are multitudes of options we will explore in this article, but the first step is to research your monthly bills to see if you can find cheaper rates by shopping competitors.
At a minimum, check your auto insurance. It is easy to get cheap car insurance quotes from different companies so you can be certain you are getting the best coverage available at the lowest price.
Next, making your home as energy efficient as possible will go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint, as well as cutting down on your monthly utility bills.
Perfect Your Plumbing
- Review your water bill to see how much you’re actually using. If it seems high, you might have a leak in the system somewhere. Each individual leak can use up to 20 gallons a day so it’s worth checking into.
- Go for low flow toilets. Five gallons a flush might not seem like a lot, but imagine leaving a nickel on the sink every time someone in the house flushes the toilet. It will add up quick! Install a low-flow toilet and it will eventually pay for itself, and then some!
- Install an energy-efficient water heater. Tankless heaters can save you 30% over conventional heaters because they only warm the water as it’s needed.
- Install aerators to faucets to easily reduce the amount of water used while also increasing pressure. Aerators can save you around 25 gallons of water per day.
- Purchase an Energy Star washing machine and dishwasher and you’ll save up to 30 gallons of water every laundry cycle. Let the dishwasher do the dishes! When you do them by hand your liable to use 4 more gallons for every load of dishes.
- Do you like long, hot showers? Cut your showers down by two minutes and you’ll be saving another 5 gallons every single time.
Ease up on the Electricity
- Ask for a free energy audit from your gas and electric provider. They will be able to tell you what’s on the mark, and what you can improve upon.
- Embrace technology by investing in motion detector switches, timers, power strips and WiFi enabled products. All of these are designed for a more customized experience, which will save you money in electricity.
- Use light bulbs that have the Energy Star label. These are energy efficient and can save you over $50 a year.
- Solar panels, especially if you live in a sunny area, can pay for themselves in about 8 years. After the 8-year mark or so, you’ll be utilizing free – yes free – energy.
- New appliances that boast the Energy Star label are much more efficient than older ones. The average household spends 15% of its energy consumption on outdated appliances.
- Invest in Energy Star labeled printers and computers for your office.
Calculate Climate Control
- Why allow the furnace to warm the house to a balmy 69 degrees if everyone is away at work or school? Install a thermostat that is programmable to save on electricity.
- Add insulation to the home so it’s more energy efficient and retains the heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.
- Use weather stripping on windows and doors, utilize blinds on southern facing windows to keep the sun out during the summer, and seal any outstanding leaks with caulk.
- If it gets hot in the summer on the southern facing side of the house, consider planting shade trees.
- Install double pane windows to replace single panes. They offer better insulation.
- The refrigerator and freezer can be set as warm as 38 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, if they are set lower; your money is flying out the window.
- Have the ventilation ducts checked and any leaks fixed to optimize efficiency.
- Replace or clean the furnace and other filters once every 3 months (or more if you have pets).
If you have extra space in your apartment, garage, or home, you may also consider renting out the space to a roommate or for storage.
A parking space that is coveted and not being used because you don’t drive might bring in some money for you from someone who could use it. Plus, if you are handy or are willing to teach yourself how to complete minor home repairs, you can do them yourself instead of outsourcing.
Don’t let the rising cost of utilities bring you down, there are many ways to optimize energy efficiency in your home and take matters into your own hands!