If you are thinking of saving money, cutting back on utility expenses is the way to go. Not only is this a great way to save money, it also cuts back on the use of natural resources. Therefore, it’s a win win for your pocket and for the environment.
Fortunately, there are many things people can do to save money on their utilities. This article will provide a variety of suggestions that will be help your bank account grow while helping Mother Nature flourish.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Energy efficient light bulbs can be very effective in helping you save money on your electric bill. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) are one of the most popular types of energy efficient light bulbs. They have a lifespan of 8 -10 years and cost about $4 each. The only downside is their high mercury levels make them difficult to dispose of.
Light Emitting Diode lights (LEDs) are also recommended. They consume the least power of any light bulb and also have the longest life span (40 – 50 years). They also do not contain mercury. However, they give off blue light which can disrupt sleep patterns.
Using energy efficient light bulbs is a great way to save on monthly utilities. Using CFL’s can save you close to $10,000 over a 10-year period while LED’s can save you closer to $12,000.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Most of us know we can save money by keeping our homes at a certain temperature. Although we can manually adjust air conditioners and heaters, a programmable thermostat will do the job for you so you never have to worry about forgetting.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider setting instant alerts on your smartphone.
Experts recommend that you set your home temperature for 78 degrees when you are at home during the summer. When you are out, program the cooling system to activate only when the temperature hits 88 degrees. Experts say that for every degree your home temperature rises over 78 degrees during the summer, you could be saving 6-8% on your utility bill.
During the winter, try keeping your home temperature at 68 degrees. If this is chilly for your family, try maintaining this temperature only when you sleep.
Lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a day can reduce energy usage by 5 to 15 percent.
Take Advantage of Your Window Coverings
The sun is a great natural source of light and heat. On winter days, open those blinds wide to let the sun take over for some of your heating costs. This is also ideal for letting in sunlight to reduce the need for lights being turned on earlier than necessary.
Getting the proper insultation on your windows will also help hold heat in so your heater doesn’t need to work as hard.
In the summer, you may still want to open your blinds to let the sunlight in, but try keeping them closed while you are not home. That way your home will stay cool limiting the amount of work your air conditioning needs to do.
Install Low Flow Fixtures in Your Bathroom and Kitchen
Low flow fixtures can be effective in helping you reduce your water bill.
You can replace existing fixtures or add attachments to your faucets to reduce the amount of water used and this will have no effect on your water pressure. Doing so can help you save between 25 and 60% on your water bill.
Make the Most of Your Appliances
These days, energy efficient appliances are pretty easy to find. But if you have older appliances, or even if you have newer ones, there are a few things you can do to keep energy use to a minimum.
For one, if you have a dishwasher, skip rinsing your dishes before putting them in for a wash. Most new dishwashers have a pre-rinse cycle that will do the trick. You can also skip the warming cycle by letting dishes air dry.
When it comes to doing the laundry, wait until you have a full load and use cold water if possible. Experts say that washing machines consume the most energy by heating the water so keeping water at lower temperatures can save a considerable amount of money and natural resources.
You should also take care to clean lint traps between dryer uses. This allows for more air flow helping your clothes to dry more efficiently. Shorter dry times will save electricity.
Of course, you can also skip the dryer altogether by allowing clothes to air dry.
Many of us keep our electronics plugged in during the day. Even though electronics will use more energy when they’re actively being used, those little red and green lights aren’t appearing on their own! Unplugging them can save small amounts of energy that can really add up over time.
And it should go without saying that you should shut off lights when they are not in use.
If you are looking to save money, cutting down on utility use is a great way to start. The fact that it’s good for the environment makes it a win-win. What measures will you be taking to keep your wallet fat while doing what you can to save the earth?