How to Save Money on your Utility Bills

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In our modern day, most everyone knows how important it is to be aware of the resources we are using in our day to day life. “Resources” can be defined as utilities we use, the money we earn, and the commodities we are given.

Over the last few years, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters have wreaked havoc to millions of households across the U.S,, bringing with it financial crises. Even if you are not in a desperate situation, it is crucial to know how to be more conservative in your everyday use of utilities and money. Below are a few tips to help you get started.

Save Money on Air Conditioning your Home

Especially as the summer months roll in, air conditioning can be a source of worry for some. For those who cannot keep their house as cool as they would like, do not despair; here are a few tips that can help your AC keep up. First of all, invest in some energy efficient blinds for your windows. The lighter in color they are, the better, as lighter colors attract less light and heat than darker colors. These will help keep the sunlight out rather than heat up your house. Secondly, place a variety of fans over your output fans in your house. You may use a specialized vent fan, or a normal box fan, either one will get the job done. Using fans over your vents will blow what cold air is coming from your air conditioner throughout the house without breaking the bank or the AC. Keep all appliance use to a minimum while trying to keep your house cool as well. It should not be surprising to hear that when you use your oven or other large appliances, they generate heat  which can cancel out your air conditioner. Lastly, try to keep all windows and doors shut tightly to keep the hot air from getting in, and the cool air from getting out. Using some or all of these tips, you should be able to keep you house summer ready without depleting your wallet.

Save Money on Heating your Home

Like air conditioning, heat is a valuable asset for those who live in states with cold winters. It can also take up a large chunk of the utility bills if not properly taken advantage of. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your heater functioning to the best of its ability. When entering the wintery months, it may be wise to add extra insulation to your house. Whether this manifests itself as fiberglass in your walls, or rubber lining around your windows and doors to prevent drafts, extra insulation can insure that your heat is staying inside. At night, you can sleep with more layers on your bed or on your body, which will keep you warmer and may even enable you to turn down your thermostat. Turning your heating down a few more degrees than normal can help you save money on your bills. Similar to using your air conditioner, make sure your windows and doors remain closed whenever possible, allowing for the cold to stay outside and the heat to stay inside where it belongs.   

Save Money on your Water Bill

To many states, water is an irreplaceable necessity. Droughts have caused millions of people to sacrifice basic commodities, such as showering, doing laundry or dishes, and more importantly, water gardens and plots that grow our food. While you may not be suffering under such harsh conditions, water conservation is still widely known and widely used. To save water in your own household, try doing your dishes and laundry only when there is a full load. Then, you can exploit the full potential of your appliances while saving gallons of water per load. Of course, you can follow some of the simple, yet efficient steps we grew up hearing: do not let the water run while brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, etcetera. Letting the water run while you are brushing your teeth, or before you get in the shower, can waste gallons of water. According to Jonah Schein from the WaterSense program, every minute that your shower runs without you in it can waste up to 2.5 gallons of water. On one final note, remember to refrain from watering your lawn in times of drought, but when you must, water your lawn in the evening. If done when the weather is not as hot and dry, there will be less water evaporation, and more of the water will go to feeding your lawn. Aim to be conservative in your water habits, and it will benefit everyone in the long run.

Save Money on your Electric Bill

Electricity isn’t easy to go without, as we use it in the majority of our lives. Televisions, cars, appliances, and our cell phones cannot run without it. Difficult as it may seem, it is possible to save and be more aware of our power. Most basically, allowing for the natural light to illuminate your house is one way to save electricity in every room. Refrain from turning on any lights during the day time, when possible, and then frugally using them at night. Turn off any lights in rooms you are not in, a mistake that many people make on a daily basis. While on the subject of lights, switching from normal halogen bulbs to the more energy efficient fluorescent lightbulbs is an easy way to save money and help the environment. Unplug any appliances or electronics during the night. Though you may not be using them, even if they are off, electronics can still use unnecessary power when plugged in. Though it may already be a priority to save power in your house, you may still be able to enact some of these energy and money efficient ideas.

Save Money on your Trash Bill

If you live in a city and pay for trash pick up, then it may be a large portion of your budget along with other utilities. There are many ways to save on garbage disposal. If you do not already, think about recycling or reusing any recyclable materials. Reuse plastic grocery bags around the house, rather than throwing them away after one use. Crush down any large containers you may be throwing away, such as milk jugs, boxes, or large cans. This will save room in your trash can and your trash bins. Any way that can limit your trash use will prevent you from paying for additional trash bins, and therefore save you money.

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We all grow up hearing what more we could and should be doing to better our adult lives. We know that we should be more aware of the resources we use, and the money we are spending. However, it is sometimes easier said than done. With these few, simple tasks, you will not only be improving the environment by being more efficient and conscientious, you will be saving money in your own home while still getting the most bang for your buck.  

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Source: Neighborhood Link - Sabrina Robinson
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