Life can get expensive, and some costs will always be outside of our control. Read on for 15 tips to reduce your utility bills and save some serious green!
1. Check the seals on all your windows, doors, and appliances.
Drafty doors and windows make your thermostat work harder all year round. Poor seals on your appliances do double damage since the fridge or oven will have to work harder to maintain their internal temperatures, while the cool and hot air escaping will also have an impact on the overall temperature of your home. Sealing everything up saves energy and money.
2. Fix leaky ductwork and change your air filter.
Just as windows and doors can let hot and cool air seep out, so can the ductwork for your heating and cooling systems. Check to make sure there are no leaks, and repair any you find. This lets your system run with optimal efficiency and saves valuable wasted energy. An old filter can also reduce the effectiveness of your heat and air conditioning, costing you unnecessary cash. AC pros recommend replacing your air filter every 45-90 days.
3. Give your thermostat a nudge.
Setting your thermostat back when you’re away from home can offer some seriously valuable savings without impacting your comfort. Smart thermostats have programmable schedules that will do the work for you! Also consider light bedsheets in summer and extra blankets in winter, so that you can save a few degrees overnight and still sleep soundly.
4. Adjust your fridge and freezer temperature.
Setting your refrigerator to 38 degrees and your freezer to between 0 and 5 degrees keeps your food fresh, without making the appliance work any harder than it needs to. Setting them any colder is considered unnecessary and ups your utility bill. A packed freezer and fridge help to lower costs even more since the frozen and cooled foods help keep things chilly!
5. Take shorter showers.
Taking just two minutes off your shower time saves about 5 gallons of water every time you wash. This can make a big difference in your water costs throughout the course of a year, especially if you have multiple people in your home and everyone commits and makes the cut!
6. Replace your showerhead.
Can’t shorten your shower time? Try a low-flow energy-efficient showerhead instead. These can save up to 2,700 gallons of water a year! Combining tips 5 and 6 will make for even more savings.
7. Don’t wash clothes in hot water.
Sticking to warm and cold washing machine cycles can save up to 50% of the energy cost of your washer. Be sure to pre-treat stains so everything still comes out looking great!
8. Fix leaky faucets.
Leaky faucets and toilets can end up costing a fortune on your water bill. Regularly check to ensure you have no leaks so that you don’t miss one and end up surprised with a higher than normal utility bill!
9. Adjust the temperature on your water heater.
Lowering the setting on your water heater to 120 degrees versus 130 degrees can save 10% of the energy cost! Turn the water heater to the lowest setting when you’re out of town for even more efficiency.
10. Purchase energy-efficient appliances.
Energy Star-labeled appliances come in a wide variety of price ranges and options, and they can save tons in energy costs over the lifetime of the appliance. If you’re shopping for something new – look for energy efficiency first.
11. Ask about discounted rates.
Some energy providers offer discounted rates during off-peak times. Call your provider to find out if they offer this, and if so try doing your laundry and dishes on off-peak times.
12. Swap out your lightbulbs.
Changing just five of your most frequently used lightbulbs to compact fluorescent or LED Energy Star bulbs can save up to $75 a year. Swap out all the bulbs in your home for an even larger impact.
13. Install dimmer switches.
Dimmer switches aren’t just aesthetically desirable, dimming the lights to suit your mood saves valuable energy as well.
14. Use smart power strips.
This tip is more important than ever with so many of us working from home! Many electronics in our home still use energy when we aren’t using them. Smart Power strips completely cut power to electronics when they aren’t in use, stopping the trickle of wasted energy. The savings can really add up over time!
15. Do an energy audit.
Many utility providers offer home energy audits. These audits can uncover ways your home is wasting energy and give you a personalized plan to correct the problems. Some come at a cost, while some are free! Contact your energy provider to ask about scheduling an audit and see what you can save.
Reducing your utility bills may make a big difference in your budget, and so may reduce your mortgage payment. Contact one of our experienced loan officers today to find out if refinancing your home to help reduce your mortgage payment is the right decision for you*!
*Refinancing your current mortgage loan could result in the total finance charge being higher over the life of the loan.