Household Tips: How To Save Money On Monthly Utility Bills

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 22, 2023
Updated 2023/07/23 at 9:52 AM
How To Save Money On Monthly Utility Bills

The arrival of summer is imminent, which means shifting our concerns from high heating bills to high electricity bills. If you’re someone who constantly seeks ways to save money, particularly during the summer, we have some good news for you.

There are numerous straightforward and effective tips that can help you reduce your electric bill while still staying cool. Take a look at these easy and practical suggestions for lowering your electricity expenses and beating the summer heat.

How To Save Money On Monthly Utility Bills

Conduct An Electricity Assessment:

Do not be intimidated by the term “audit.” This is the initial step towards reducing your electric expenses. Essentially, an electricity audit involves examining the electricity consumption in your home. To ensure a comprehensive assessment, it may be beneficial to enlist the expertise of a professional from your local electric company. The best part is that many electric companies offer this service at no cost!

When opting for a professional audit, expect them to inquire about your objectives and concerns. They will perform tests, inspect your home for air leaks, and evaluate the quality of insulation.

Subsequently, they will provide you with their top recommendations to address any significant issues.

If you are skilled at do-it-yourself tasks, you might consider conducting the entire audit on your own using a user-friendly online audit tool. Simply enter your zip code, and the energy calculator will take care of the rest, providing you with personalized results.

If the audit leaves you feeling perplexed, do not worry. Review the suggested changes and determine which ones are truly worthwhile for you. Be sure to allocate a budget for any necessary home improvements (using your zero-based budgeting approach). Then sit back and witness the reduction in your electric bill.

Put Off The Lights:

To conserve energy and reduce costs, it may seem like a simple task to turn off the lights. However, many families frequently discuss the issue of forgetting to do so.

This concern is valid because keeping lights on unnecessarily not only consumes electricity but also impacts your budget. Each hour a 40-watt light bulb remains switched on, it consumes 0.04 kWh of energy.

Let’s consider that your electricity provider charges 10 cents per kWh. By turning off the lights for one hour, you can save $0.004 on your bill. Although it may not appear to be significant, if you turn off just five lights in your home for 10 hours per day, you can save $6 per month on your electricity expenses.

The amount you save on your bill increases as you turn off more lights, especially if they have higher wattage.

It’s beneficial to make it a habit to only turn on the light in the room you are using at that moment. Additionally, take advantage of natural sunlight on sunny days. Not only is it pleasant for your eyes, but it is also free of cost.

Consider Replacing Your Light Bulbs:

Although it may appear to be a simple suggestion, the act of changing your light bulbs can lead to significant savings. Although these bulbs may have a higher initial cost, you can save a substantial amount of money in the long run by switching the light bulbs in your home. It’s an effortless way to save money!

The next time you visit your preferred home improvement store, make sure to head towards the lighting section and stock up on compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Additionally, keep an eye out for the Energy Star logo, a government symbol that signifies energy-efficient products, while you’re shopping.

Ensure There Are No Air Leaks:

When examining for air leaks, ask yourself the following questions: Are the windows producing a whistling sound? Can you detect air entering from under the front door during windy days? Do the doors effectively close and create a seal? Is the fireplace damper functioning properly? Hopefully, during your energy audit, you were able to identify some of these often-overlooked energy-wasting issues.

It is important to note that properly sealing your windows, doors, and appliances can have a significant impact, especially during the hot summer months.

If your doors and windows are not adequately sealed, you are allowing warm air to enter and cool air to escape. Having an air leak in your home is akin to having a leak in your finances.

Air sealing your home is an inexpensive and effortless way to save money. Simply acquire weather strips for your doors and windows, along with caulk to seal any leaky areas in your plumbing, air ducts, and wiring. The cost of purchasing weather strips, caulk, and a caulk gun is approximately $15, but it can potentially reduce your energy costs by up to 20%. This demonstrates an excellent return on investment.

Change The Air Filter:

We understand that it can be challenging to remember all the replacements required throughout the year. However, there’s some good news: By changing your air filter, you can significantly improve the lifespan and efficiency of your HVAC system, ultimately saving you money in the long term. So, don’t hesitate any longer and make a point to replace the air filter every three months. You’ll appreciate this decision, especially when you notice the reduction in your electricity bill.

Please Make Sure To Close The Door:

You can vividly recall your childhood when you had an amazing summer, constantly running in and out of the house, playing with the kids next door, and carelessly leaving the door wide open. Each time, your mother would yell, “Were you born in a barn? Close the door!”

Your mother had a valid point. It’s not a good idea to keep the exterior doors open while the air conditioning or heating system is in use. By doing so, you not only allow the valuable and costly air to escape but also force your unit to work harder and for a longer duration. Just imagine your hard-earned money drifting out the door, along with your cherished cool air.

Take Control Of Your Thermostat:

Did you know that reducing your thermostat by 7–10 degrees for eight hours a day can lead to a 10% annual reduction in your electricity bill? You can manually do this by adjusting the thermostat when you wake up and before going to sleep.

For added convenience, you can consider purchasing a programmable thermostat if it fits your budget. It will eliminate the need to remember to change the temperature twice a day and is reasonably priced (starting at $20).

If you’re a tech enthusiast, investing in a smart thermostat might be the right choice. These intelligent devices enable you to control your home’s temperature directly from your smartphone with ease. Some devices even offer geofencing technology, which uses your phone’s location to detect when you’re at home and automatically adjusts the temperature accordingly. This is certainly a far cry from traditional thermostats.

Run Your Appliances Only When They Are Completely Filled:

To save money and energy, it is advisable not to run your appliances, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer, unless they are full. It may be tempting to wash a few heavily soiled items separately, but this is actually a waste of money. Running the washing machine for just a small load costs about 70 cents, considering the average energy consumption of 590 kWh for a washing machine and 769 kWh for a dryer. Therefore, it is better to wait until you have a full load of laundry before doing the wash.

To further reduce energy usage when doing laundry, there are two simple methods: use less water by reducing the number of loads and opt for cold or warm water instead of hot water.

The same principles apply to the dryer. Only use it when you have a full load, avoid over-drying clothes, and try to dry similar items together. It can be frustrating to spend hours drying towels and T-shirts, only to discover that the T-shirts were dry long ago while the towels are still damp

When it comes to using the dryer, the guidelines remain unchanged. Only run the dryer when you have a full load, avoid over-drying the clothes, and aim to dry similar items together. It can be extremely frustrating to spend two hours drying your towels and T-shirts, only to discover that the T-shirts were already dry 45 minutes ago while the towels remain damp.

Here’s a helpful tip: opt for the automatic cycle instead of relying on specific timed settings to ensure that the moisture sensors work effectively.

If you’re interested in delving deeper, you can utilize a convenient home energy use calculator to estimate the expenses incurred by your appliances. And if you truly wish to save on your electric bill, consider eliminating the use of the dryer altogether and resort to line drying your clothes—it’s sometimes beneficial to return to the basics.

Modify Your Refrigerator:

This action is one of the minor adjustments that can yield significant results. Examine the temperature settings of your refrigerator. It is generally recommended to maintain a range of approximately 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit. By making these adjustments, you can preserve the freshness of your food while preventing unnecessary energy consumption caused by the refrigerator working excessively to maintain excessively low temperatures.

Your Hot Water Heater’s Temperature Should Be Adjusted:

Many individuals do not consider whether their water temperature is excessively high. When you open the tap, warm water flows out, and you continue with your usual activities. However, if the water temperature is set too high, you may be wasting approximately $36 to $61 per year. It is generally acceptable to set the water heater at 140 degrees, but be cautious as it could occasionally result in scalding hot water. Conversely, setting it too low, at 120 degrees, can interfere with your dishwasher’s ability to kill bacteria effectively. Experiment with different temperature settings to find the one that suits your needs.

Conclusion:

After discovering methods to reduce your electricity expenses, it is important to allocate the saved money wisely. Our budgeting app, Every Dollar, can assist you in managing your budget effectively, and the best part is, it’s free. Don’t hesitate any longer. Relax with a refreshing iced sweet tea, take a moment to create your initial budget, and witness the accumulation of your energy savings.

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