12 Ways to SAVE on Utility Bills!
We spend $2,200 on average for utility bills each year, according to Energy Star.gov. Of this amount, about half is spent on heating and cooling. Heating represents 29% and cooling represents 17%. The rest is spent on energy to power water heating, appliances, lights, and electronics.
Here are 12 steps you can take to lower your utility bills starting today!
Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This simple step will help lower your water heating costs.
If you do not have programmable thermostats in your home — get and install them. Don’t pay to heat or cool your home when no one is there. Review the manual and learn how to program the thermostat for various times of day. Set it to lower the temperature when you are at work and away from home, and to kick-in an hour or so before you get home.
If you have energy-saving settings on your appliances — use them! Examine your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer. Make the switch today.
Change to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). They use 75% less energy than regular light bulbs. Swap out the old bulbs for CFLs in the lights you keep on more than 4 hours each day.
Consider upgrading to new energy efficient appliances. When you shop, look for appliances that are Energy Star qualified. These appliances are rated for their energy use and provide details on how much you can expect it to cost you to run the appliance on an annual basis.
Be sure to explore rebate programs offered by your gas and electricity company as well as city, county and state programs to offset your purchase price for new appliances by converting to energy-efficient appliances.
Start making it a practice to replace the filter on your furnace once each month. Filters are relatively inexpensive and won’t break your budget. A clean filter makes your furnace operate more efficiently and improves the indoor air quality inside your home.
Examine the insulation around your water heater. If it’s old and dirty — replace it. If it’s made of fiberglass, consider a switch to a foam water heater blanker. Foam is denser than fiberglass. It blocks air from penetrating and creates a tighter insulation seal around the water heater to keep water hotter longer.
Go outdoors and take a look at your windows. How is the caulk holding up? Perhaps it’s time to chisel away the old caulk and apply some new caulk. That will help stop those leaks and drafts from entering inside your home. And if you have a basement, don’t forget to check and renew the caulk around the basement windows.
Next stop – the attic. When is the last time you replaced the insulation? Take a close inspection and look for signs of deterioration, dust, mold and mildew. Visit your local home improvement store and purchase roll-down blankets to improve the insulation in your attic.
Look for other drafty areas underneath cabinets and inside closets where there are cut-away carvings in between pipes and electrical work. Seal up those drafty holes with spray-on foam.
Contact your utility company for a free energy audit. Let a pro do a walk-through. They will point out areas you might not see and offer additional money-saving advice to cut your utility bills down to size!