I am always looking for ways to save money. Most of my monthly bills I have no control over what the payment will be. They have a set amount that I pay each month whether I like it or not. So, when it comes to my utility bills, I have always tried to keep them as low as possible! Here are a some easy things that I do to keep my electric cost down:
Heating & Cooling
- Replace or clean furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters make your furnace work harder and can also damage your furnace. Also, do you really want all that dirt that gets caught in the filter circulating through your house?
- Have a professional maintenance check and cleaning done annually to make sure everything is running properly and efficiently.
- Keep you thermostat at 72° or higher in the summer and 58°-68° in the winter. If it’s 90° outside and you are in your house, wearing a hoodie while laying under a blanket then you need to turn your air conditioner down! Same thing in the winter, if you are wearing almost no clothes and are still sweating then you don’t need your heat turned up as high as you have it.
- Close doors and vents in unused rooms. There is no point in heating or cooling areas that you don’t use.
- Use ceiling fans to help circulate the air in your home. Fans should go clockwise in the winter and counter clockwise in the summer (there is a little switch above the blades that lets you change the direction). This helps to circulate the air so your furnace or air conditioner don’t have to work as hard.
- Wash your clothes in cold water and only wash full loads. Cold water will get your clothes just as clean as hot water does and save a lot of energy! If you are worried about your clothes not getting cleaned properly in cold water, there are detergents (Tide for example) that have products specifically for cold water.
- Clean your dryer vent after each use so your dryer runs more efficiently. Or, to save even more money, hang dry your clothes!
- Air or towel dry your dishes. Maybe I’ve just always had cheap, crappy dishwashers but even when I use the heat dry setting my dishes are still wet! I usually just open the dishwasher, pull out the racks and let the dishes air dry.
- Clean you fridge coils & defrost your freezer regularly. Most fridges have coils either on the back or underneath that get covered with dirt, dust, food, etc. When the coils are dirty, the fridge has to work harder to stay cool. If your fridge has ice built up inside then the cold air doesn’t have as much room to circulate and, again, your fridge has to work harder.
Electronics & Lighting
- Turn off the lights. So simple but so hard to do!
- Unplug items that you don’t use very often. I try to keep anything that I use less than once per week unplugged. Some people say to use power strips for everything and shut them off right after you are done but that is just really inconvenient for me. I can never remember to spend the 2 second it takes to flip that little switch under the TV each time I turn it off, so I only worry about things I don’t use daily.
- Replace light bulbs with CFL bulbs. They use a lot less power and last 10 times longer. CFL light bulbs are more expensive to buy but you will save more money in the long run by reducing your electric bill and not having to buy light bulbs as often.
Other things that didn’t fit into a category
- Use heavy or insulated curtains on your windows. This will keep the heat out during the summer and keep heat in during the winter. This one is easy for me because I hardly ever have my curtains open. I don’t like people seeing inside my house and when the curtains are open I feel like my neighbors are always watching me.
- Seal all holes and gaps in doors, windows and around plumbing pipes. This prevents heat and cooling from escaping. Use weather stripping, door sweeps or caulking where ever you need it. If you can feel a breeze coming in then there is a gap that needs sealed.
I hope this list helps you to lower your electric bill! What tips do you have to keeping the price of your electric bill down? I’d love to hear from you!