Utility bills can fluctuate from month to month, and they can almost seem to double (or triple) during certain times of the year. The good news is that there are some simple ways you can cut down on these monthly costs. The following tips can you help you to lower your utility bills:
Although lights don’t use up very much energy in general, every little bit helps, and reducing energy usage in every way possible can eventually help you to save on your electric bill. If you haven’t already, swap out older light bulbs for LED bulbs. Although LED bulbs tend to be more expensive than regular light bulbs, they use less energy and the savings will eventually cancel out that extra expense. Additionally, they last much longer, so you won’t need to change them out nearly as often. This is especially helpful when it comes to those hard-to-reach parts of the home that require light bulbs.
In addition to swapping out older light bulbs for more energy efficient bulbs, you can also consider putting your switches on a dimmer, which can allow you to control the level of light you turn on. It’s also important to remember to turn off any lights whenever you leave a room.
Unplug what you aren’t using
Anything that is plugged in will eat up energy, regardless of whether it is turned on or being used. Think of the things around your home that aren’t in use all the time and consider unplugging them until you need them—your toaster oven, coffee maker, television, computer, and so on.
Cut down on cooling and heating
Heating up your home in the winter and cooling it down in the summer can easily be the costliest part of your monthly utility bills, especially if you live in an area that is prone to harsh conditions. Proper insulation is key to ensuring that you’re able to easily maintain a desirable temperature in your home. Without good insulation, very cold or hot air can easily make its way into your home. Ceiling fans in every room are also a good investment because they can provide cool air when it’s hot outside, and for a fraction of the cost of an air conditioner. On some days, simply leaving your ceiling fans on can be good enough, and air conditioning might not even be needed. And because hot air rises, switching your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise in the winter can help push the warmer air down, which can allow you to ease up on the heater.
Don’t run completely full laundry and dishwasher loads
Many people will fill their dishwashers and washing machines to absolute maximum capacity in order to be energy efficient, but this can actually have the opposite effect. This can overwork your appliances—especially when it comes time to putting an extra large laundry load in the dryer—thus using up more power. Instead, aim for loads that are ¾ full.
Check your utility bills for mistakes
If you’ve been doing everything right and your unusually high utility bills haven’t budged, there’s a chance that you’re accidentally being overcharged for energy usage. In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for utility bills to contain errors, so be sure to carefully go through your utility bill to make sure everything looks correct. If you have any questions about your charges, contact your local utility provider for clarification.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.