If you want to reduce utility bills then it takes a bit of effort. Why I never thought that the cost of cooling 1200 square feet and 3600 square feet would make a difference in our utility bills in the hot, humid Florida summers escapes me. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent woman with common sense (hey, it’s not all that common anymore), but sometimes even I question that. “Winter” (quotes for a very loose meaning of the term) in Florida is our cheap season as far as utilities are concerned. It used to cost us $76 per month give or take in our other home from November to March since it’s gorgeous outside and we can open the windows all day, every day.
When we moved into our slightly larger home last October, we were in window-open season. We didn’t use the air but for two hours a day in the afternoon for months. And then summer came back around and the windows were shut. Our normal $150 summer utility bill did not arrive. What did arrive in its place was a utility bill for more than $400. Imagine my shock when I opened up that letter. Good thing my husband is good with mouth-to-mouth – I’ll leave it at that.
The cost of utilities is ridiculous anymore, and I’m sure your monthly bill reflects that like my own. It made me wonder if there was anything we could do to make it go back down. While I realize that it’s hot here, and it’s necessary – and that I like it set on 73 all the time – I still wanted to find a way to reduce the cost of our utilities and lower our monthly bill. I’d love to say that I’ve tried this methods, but I have yet to do so. However, the people of the world swear that these methods for reducing utility bills are effective and genius.
Keep the Vents Open
You can keep your utilities down a bit when you keep the vents open. It’s difficult to keep the house cooled and heated when the vents are closed and not allowing these rooms to cool off or heat up, which can prompt you to mess with the thermostat by turning it up or down the keep the air or heat running. Check the vents; it’ll save you a bundle.
Keep the Vents Clean
Clean vents filter much healthier air, and that’s going to save you a bundle. Additionally, it’s easier for air to flow through efficiently when the vents are clean. Keeping these clean on a regular basis is going to help you lower the cost of your utility bills all year, not just during the summer or the winter.
Keep the Vents Closed
If you have rooms you simply do not use, close the vents. It sounds counter-productive to our earlier advice, but it’s the truth. You waste energy cooling and heating rooms that have a closed door and are not being used. What you should do is close those, and only open them when that room is being used, such as when you have guests. It’s one of the simplest and most often overlooked manners of lowering that utility bill.
Use Cold Water to Wash Your Clothes
You use approximately 90% of the energy your washing machine needs to wash your laundry when you use the hot water cycle. Turn it down to cool water and watch the numbers on your utility bill drop dramatically. Most people have no idea just how much money they waste using hot water, and we’re here to tell you it’s time to lower that temp and that bill at the same time.
Turn Things Off
If your utility bill made a list of all the things that use energy and cost you money, you’d see things like your Keurig and your flat iron and your hair dryer on there. You keep them on or plugged in without using them and you’re just wasting money. It’s not a lot, but it adds up to a significant savings every year when you turn these things of at least, or even unplug them when they are not in use.
Set the Temperature the Right Way
Keep that thermostat at a decent temperature and your utility bill will thank you. Try something along the lines of 76-78 when the air is on and 69-72 when the heat is on. Of course, I don’t take this advice. I keep my air set at 73 and my heat at 78 – when we have to use it. But the intention is good.
Wash Dishes and Laundry after 8 pm
Did you know that your electric company likely offers lower rates to you if you use your energy after 8 pm? They want to cut the amount of energy being used in the peak times of the day. That’s why your utility bill might seem lower if you find that you’re doing dishes and laundry later in the evening versus around lunch time.
Turn the Lights Off
It’s simple; but it’s effective. Do yourself a favor; consider how much you keep the lights on during the day. Now turn them off and leave them off during the day for the next month. When your next utility bill arrives, check to see what the difference is in the price. I guarantee that it will be different.
Shut off the Television
We are bad about this; and it’s a huge waste of energy. It’s not the heat of the summer that makes our utility bill rise to ridiculous levels. It’s summer vacation when our kids are home from school – because it’s hot in August but our bill drops significantly. They have lights on all day and there are multiple televisions on every single day. That television will kill you. Turn it off. Listen to music or something instead.
Get out of the House
If you really want to keep the utility bill wallet-friendly, do it by getting out of the house. This allows you to keep the temperature turned up and the lights and televisions off. It’s a great savings plan and it makes you feel pretty good about your budget.
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