Winter is approaching and most of us experience an uptick in our monthly bills during this time. The increase is caused primarily by higher energy bills. With tight budgets, we need ways to save money. Using strategies to squash your utility bills is one way to do it.
There are lots of things you can do to squash your utility bills. From low-tech to smart-home technologies, there are many strategies we can employ to save money and the environment.
You don’t have to be a homeowner to employ energy-saving tactics. It may seem that if you are a renter, your options to winterize your home and lower your utility bills are limited. But this is not true. These tips can help you too.
Here are 8 easy year-round ways to squash your utility bills.
#1 Replace Your Lightbulbs. This is one easy way to save money on utility bills. And it is not a big investment of your hard-earned cash. LED bulbs are what you want. They last almost forever and eat up very little energy.
If you have a smart-home hub going, then you definitely want to use LED smart lightbulbs. They come in energizing or relaxing colors as well as white and you can control them with your smartphone. This way you never have to worry about the lights being left on and draining your monthly budget.
# 2 Unplug. This can be a challenging habit to incorporate into your daily routine, but once you do you will be very happy with the money you save. Any appliance not in use, unplug it from the outlet. This includes your computer. If your cell phone or smartphone is charged up, take it out from the charger and disconnect from the outlet. To make this easier, get a power strip and then you only have one thing to unplug. Or, to go more high-tech, use a smart power strip.
#3 Your Thermostat. Being comfortable at home is a big deal. We don’t want to roast in the summer or freeze in the winter. The best way to keep your home at the optimum temperature and not waste a lot of money is to use a programmable thermostat.
Program your thermostat to lower the temperature when you are not at home or when sleeping. This way you will not accidentally heat or cool an empty house or apartment. You can do this even if you are renting your home.
More high-tech is the smart thermostat, such as Nest that automatically sets itself according to your habits.
#4 Clean Your HVAC System. If your HVAC filters are dirty, you will pay for it in higher utility bills. An easy way to save money is to check your filters monthly during the winter and summer months. Replace if they are dirty. You can purchase HVAC filters in bulk from places like Home Depot and other big box stores.
This could be something your landlord does for you, if you are renting, but don’t count on it. The goal is to squash your utility bills. It’s worth the small investment.
#5 Consolidate Your Laundry. You will save money if you run your washing machine with a full load of laundry. Use warm or cold water whenever possible. And, for your dryer, use wool dryer balls. The balls decrease the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes and obviates the need to use fabric softener—another way to save money.
#6 Change Your Shower Head. We all love those shower heads that give us the feel of showering under a waterfall in the rainforest. But, they release a lot of water. Whether you rent or own, you will save money by buying a shower head adapter. The adapter lowers the flow of water until the water has heated up and then you can return to normal flow.
#7 Use Energy-draining Appliances at Night. You can squash your utility bills by adjusting the time you do most of your household chores. Run the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer at nighttime. Electricity rates fluctuate by time of day. It is more expensive during peak hours. Take advantage of the lower rate periods of time and save money.
#8 Take Advantage of Your Utility Company’s Budget Plan. This works whether you rent or own your home. Getting on the budget plan will save you from the shock of high bills during the summer and winter months when you are using more heat or A/C. Use this strategy after you have done everything you can to lower your monthly energy costs.