The arrival of electric, water, and gas bills are commonly dreaded by many people, especially during tough times. It gets even more challenging in seasons where heating and cooling systems are an absolute necessity. Combine that with your other monthly bills such as phone, credit card, and other loans, and it seems like utility bills will forever be your enemy.
But cutting down on these costs isn’t impossible at all. By adopting new habits, you’ll soon find yourself saving a lot of money, despite those utility bills that keep coming in. You can start small by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or make a big move right away by investing in solar power systems for your home. You may look for trusted dealers of SunPower solar panels in your area or online.
Here are some habits you should start getting used to in order to reduce your utility bills:
1. Setting the Thermostat Higher in the Summer and Lower in the Winter
Heating and cooling is where half of household energy costs come from, according to Energy Star. While it’s undoubtedly hard to control ourselves when taking advantage of our HVAC systems, we only end up with hefty energy bills. Is it really worth it?
To cut down on heating and cooling costs, increase the thermostat in the summer, and lower it in the winter. Though what’s cold and hot for every person varies, everyone can benefit from making adjustments. For example, if you usually go for 73 degrees in the summer, then surely, raising it to 78 is still comfortable. In the winter, setting the thermostat 10 degrees lower won’t be all that bad, as long as you keep yourself warm with a blanket or sweater. While it’s a bit different than what you’re used to, the bonus of a cheaper energy bill is harder to ignore.
2. Clean/Replace HVAC Filters
HVAC and furnace filters need to be cleaned or replaced (if disposable) at least once every three months. Other than those filters, also regularly check your dryer’s vents to be certain that lint hasn’t been building up. Make it a habit to take off the lint in the dryer lint filter after every use. Lint-filled filters can be a fire hazard, so it should never be neglected.
3. Do Your Laundry Using Cold Water
According to Treehugger, using the warm water cycle for every load of laundry per year is equivalent to consuming 182 gallons of gasoline in a vehicle. Considering that most Americans wash 400 loads of laundry per year, that’s a tremendous amount of energy spent.
To save up on laundry costs, skip the warm cycle and just keep the water cold. That way, you’d only use the energy for the machine, and no longer for heating the water. The energy you can save up can be equivalent to only 8 gallons of gasoline per year; that’s definitely a huge difference!
3. Load the Dishwasher and Hand-wash Large Cookware
Put as many plates, utensils, glasses, etc, into your dishwasher at once, and let them air dry afterwards instead of using the manual heat dry. Meanwhile, wash the large cookware yourself to provide more room for your dishwasher.
4. Use the Right Cooking Appliance
When preparing small meals, maybe your oven toaster or microwave oven will do instead of your large kitchen oven. Because oven toasters are small, they heat up faster than large ovens, meaning they consume less energy. And if your recipe requires a little water, just use cold water instead of hot. Remember to keep the faucet in the cold position, too. Keeping it in the hot position will use the water heater even if the hot water won’t reach the sink.
Changing our habits may take time to get used to, but it’s all worth it once you see the results reflected in your utility bills. Start now and enjoy the benefits in no time.