When my husband and I made the move from inexpensive Spokane, Washington to a city on the western (expensive) side of Washington, we were a bit thrown off by our utility bill we received the first month in our new apartment. Our bill had more than DOUBLED and we felt like we had used less of EVERYTHING! For starters, Spokane is -2 degrees throughout the winter so we were certainly using less heat during that January month in balmy 45 degree western Washington. But it turns out there are many more ways to save money on your utility bill than just using less heat.
Let’s take a look at 9 brilliant ways to drastically lower your utility bill so you can use that money elsewhere:
Control The Thermostat
I was raised in a home that was set at 68 degrees summer, winter, spring, and fall. It didn’t matter the season, that thermostat was ALWAYS the same. So in the winter, that meant bundling up in coats indoors if we felt cold. As much as I didn’t enjoy it as a child, I now have adopted the same concept for my own home. And it has kept our electric bill dramatically lower than what it would look like if we cranked the heat in the winter and and kept the AC blasting in the summer. TIP: Install a programable thermostat so you can set it to lower the temperature at night when you’re warm in your bed or when nobody is home.
Use Energy Saving Lightbulbs
CFL Light Bulbs: These use approximately 75 percent less energy than a standard incandescent light bulb and are said to last ten times longer.
LED Light Bulbs: These are slightly more expensive but use slightly less energy than a CFL light bulb. LED bulbs are said to last from 18 to 46 years when used 3 hours per day.
TIP: Did you know you can get FREE energy saving products? (depending on your location) Click here to see if you live in a participating area and can receive energy saving products for FREE.
Avoid The A/C When Possible In The Summer
Use fans in the windows to filter cool air in once the temperature outside drops lower than the temperature inside. Also, make sure to keep doors, windows, and shades closed during the day to reduce the amount of heat coming in.
Choose Energy Efficient Appliances
Always look for ENERGY STAR® certified when shopping for new appliances.
Turn Lights Off In Unoccupied Rooms
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s easy to forget a light on in a room, causing you to pay for unneeded electricity. It all adds up over time so stick to using lights only in the room you’re in.
Wash Full Loads Of Laundry And Full Loads Of Dishes
There is no point in running the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher if it’s not full unless you like to waste money. My husband and I only run our dishwasher every 2-3 days because we just don’t fill it up very quickly. The washing machine/dryer I use about every other day and I won’t run a load unless its full.
Clean Your Dryer’s Lint Screen
When my husband and I moved into our new apartment, we were disappointed to find that our dryer would never dry loads with just one round, it always took running it twice to completely dry our clothes. Come to find out, behind the lint screen there was months and months worth of built up lint. My firefighter husband was astonished this hadn’t been cleaned or fixed as that’s how many house fires are started. Needless to say, we got it cleaned out and our dryer now dries the first load through. So check your dryers and make sure lint build up isn’t causing them to dry properly.
Unplug Home Electronics When You’re Not Using Them
Home Electronics are the fastest growing energy users in the United States according to our city’s electric company, Tacoma Power. Many electric devices still use energy even when turned off. This includes but is not limited to computers, flat screen tvs, cable boxes, dvd players, gaming systems, stereo amplifiers, printers, scanners, fax machines, and cell phone chargers. Do your utility bill a favor and unplug when not using these devices.
Reduce The Use Of Hot Water
In an effort to use the water heating tank less, use your washing machine on the cold water setting. When it comes to the dishwasher, only run it when its full and avoid heat drying with the dishwasher. Instead, after the wash cycle is finished, open the door to air dry dishes overnight and towel off the water that is left (if any) in the morning.
And That’s A Wrap!
It’s completely possible to lower your utility bill and KEEP it low for years to come! With a little bit of intentionality, your savings will grow as your bills shrink. Here’s to saving more money and living well no mater what your income looks like!
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