How You Can Save Big on Your Utility BillsPublished: April 14, 2016
Utility bills, they’re pretty much the worst! Being an adult means that each month you have to give a portion of your hard earned money to the water company, the electrical company, the gas company, etc. it’s an overall unpleasant experience. Take some of the pain out of paying your utility bills with this comprehensive money-saving checklist.
1. Try to only run your dishwasher or your washing machines when you have a full load. If you absolutely have to wash a smaller load, make sure you’re using the correct water settings
2. Upgrade to a low-flow shower head and watch the savings add up.
3. Have a running/leaking toilet fixed right away, to prevent water waste and increased a water bill.
4. If you add an aerator to your faucets, you’ll use about half as much water and save big on your monthly water bill.
5. Have a high-efficiency toilet installed, for long-term savings.
6. Use a broom to sweep away leaves and dirt on your porch, instead of using a hose to wash away debris.
7. Have any leaks repaired right away. A small leak or a dripping faucet may not seem like a huge deal, and it can be tempting to ignore the leak and save money on a costly repair. However, ignoring a leak is a major mistake that will cause a significant increase in your monthly water bill. If you notice a leak, contact us right away to have it fixed.
Keep in mind that not all leaks are easy to spot. You could have a leak in your pipes, where you wouldn’t be able to see it. There are a couple of signs to look out for, to help you determine if you have a hidden leak.
-You can start to see an increase in your monthly water bill.
-Your meter readings can be higher than usual.
-Depending on where the leaky pipe is located, you might start to notice some water damage.
If you suspect you may have a hidden leak somewhere, or if you just want some peace of mind, contact us today and we’ll send out one of our professional plumbers to inspect and correct the problem.
8. Opt to thaw foods in the fridge instead of running them under hot water in the sink.
9. You’ve heard this one a hundred times before, but turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or lathering up your hands.
10. You can reuse the water you cook with to water your plants or in the garden.
11. Plan ahead when you purchase new appliances. Investing in energy efficient dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, etc. is a great way to ensure that you’ll see long-term savings on your water and your power utility bills.
Electrical and Gas Bills:
1. Change your air filters regularly. By changing your air filters as recommended you will help ensure that your furnace and your air conditioner are running properly and efficiently, saving you money on your monthly power bills.
2. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
3. Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
4. During winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. Then during summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
5. For real long-term savings on your utility bills, choose energy-efficient products when you’re buying new heating and cooling equipment.
6. Set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer, and depending on the season raise or lower the set point when you’re sleeping or away from home.
7. Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes use less water and use cooler water. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.
8. Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.
9. Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
10. One of the quickest energy and money-saving tasks you can do is to caulk, seal and weather strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside.
11. Close cooling vents in unused rooms and keep doors to unused rooms closed.
12. Have the outside condenser coil cleaned once a year.
13. Schedule yearly maintenance of your heating and cooling equipment with one of our heating and cooling technicians.
14. Attics must be ventilated to relieve heat buildup caused by the sun. If necessary, improve attic airflow by adding or enlarging vents.
15. Save money on lighting your home with controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Our Certified Electricians can help you select and install the products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
16. Select a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an “anti-sweat” heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature.
17. Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.
18. Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit.
19. Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet. By keeping your faucet in the cold position, you’ll save money on both your water and energy utility bills.
20. If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for one with an automatic, electric ignition system. An electric ignition saves natural gas because a pilot light is not burning continuously.
21. In natural gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed. Consult the manufacturer or your local utility company.
22. Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy.
23. Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it’s faster and it uses less energy.
24. Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster oven uses a third to half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
25. Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens whenever it is convenient to do so. They will save energy by significantly reducing cooking time.
26. Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. Even if you turn these items off, they will still draw power, wasting energy and your money.
27. If you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes turn off the monitor and turn off the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.
28. Switch to energy efficient light-bulbs.
29. Don’t put hot foods in the fridge. Allow food to cool a little before placing them in the refrigerator for storage. Placing hot foods in the fridge will raise the temperature of your fridge, causing it to work twice as hard to cool the unit back down, costing you more money on your power bill.
30. Have us come out and perform an Energy Safety Savings Analysis. An Energy Safety Savings Analysis will help discover even more ways for you to save money on your utility bills.