Some of our bills can be eliminated as being “extras”, but utilities are just not one of these. If you are noticing an increase in your utility bills this winter, it is time to review what you may or may not be doing to cause this increase. With the New Year now in full swing, here are a few ideas for saving your family money at home.
Saving on Water Bills
- Check to make sure none of the faucets in your household are leaking or dripping. Did you know that a slow dripping faucet can accumulate over two gallons per hour?
- Take shorter showers. A shower uses approximately 6-10 gallons of water per minute. Consider investing in an egg timer and a low-flow showerhead to reduce water waste in the bathroom. By cutting showers down to five to eight minutes per person, you can save an easy $200 a year by taking quicker showers. The bonus, of course, is that this will help keep the entire family on schedule for getting out the door on time in the morning.
- Use your dishwasher and washer only when you have full loads.
- Contact your utility company to see if they offer reduced rates at certain times of the day and either timer-delay your washer/dishwasher or wait until that time to do your loads.
- Instead of having everyone use a towel only once, designate a towel to each family member that they can use for a whole week before putting it in the hamper. Two ways you could keep track of the towels is by assigning each family member a specific color of towels or you could sew a simple loop of grosgrain ribbon at the corner of each towel in a particular color for each family member that the towels could also be hung from following showers.
Consider switching to washing your clothes in only cold water. I have found that washing in warm and hot water are very rarely needed in our house. Just by switching to a cold water cycle you can save approximately $200 a year and it is a much greener alternative too!
Saving on Gas Bills
- Lower the temperature on your gas water heater. It is not necessary to have your water heated up to 180 degrees. You will find that by lowering it that you will, in turn, lower your bills.
- Invest in a water heater timer if you have an electric water heater. By turning the heat off during the time it is not in use, you will save money on your bill without even making a sacrifice.
- Turn your thermostat down just three degrees and consider investing in a space heater for the rooms you’re in to save on your utilities. To help keep the areas in your home that you are in toasty warm, consider one of the amazing new space heater options from Kenmore. By switching your thermostat down by those three degrees, you will save approximately three percent on your heating bills.
- Space heaters can heat a 1000 sq. ft. room with no problem, so you won’t have to worry about larger family rooms.
- Weather-strip your doors and windows along with insulating your attic. This will conserve the heat in your home a lot more.
- Close off the rooms that aren’t in use in your home. This will help keep the rooms you do use warmer.
- Close vents in the rooms that have one or more in them. If one room is always warmer you can close the vent to force air into the rooms that are cooler.
Saving on Electric Bills
- When purchasing new appliances always try to get the ones that are energy efficient. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by spending a little extra money to get the energy efficient models.
- Get in the habit of turning off all lights and appliances that are not being used. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the energy savings will add up.
- When not watching television, make sure that you keep it off. This is the number one electricity waster in the world.
- The dryer will use less energy if you dry loads of clothing one after another because the dryer will already be hot. What an easy way to save money and get your laundry done more quickly!
- Use low-wattage light bulbs or energy efficient fluorescent lighting. Compact fluorescents typically last ten times longer and they use 75% less electricity.
- Lastly, call your utility company to find out if they have off-peak hours and when they are. Many companies charge less for your electricity at night and more during the day. By doing your laundry and dishes during off-peak hours you could easily save money off of your utility bill.