POST: 8 Ways To Save Money On Your Utility Bill

utility-bill-and-lightbulb-smallHere are 8 large and small changes you can make to help your home be more energy efficient and cut utility bills for years to come.

  1. Paint your house light colors: Dark colors attract heat. Painting your house (particularly your roof) white can naturally reduce how hot your house gets and how much you need to spend on air conditioning.
  2. Use appliances that produce heat during the night: Some appliances, like your oven, dishwasher, and dryer, will create heat that permeates throughout the house. Try to use these at night to reduce the need for air conditioning during the warmest part of the day.
    • Alternatively, use a crockpot or microwave oven, which don’t produce as much as heat as an oven.
    • Grilling outside is also a good way to cook without heating up your home.
  3. Change your filter monthly: A dirty AC filter can make it harder for your AC to pump air, increasing energy costs. Dirty filters can also cause your AC to break down prematurely, further increasing your expenses. You should try to change the filter once a month.
    • Consider purchasing a permanent filter. These only need to be washed periodically. At a price of $20 to $40, you will recoup the cost of a permanent filter in about a year.
  4. Love the heat: Raising the temperature in your home by 2°C can reduce cooling costs by 5%. Wear lighter clothes (or none) to acclimate to a slightly higher temperature. Turn the AC down when you leave the house.
    • Purchase an automatic thermostat that will turn off when your house cools down. The EPA estimates that a programmable thermostat can save you as much as $180 per year; such thermostats cost as little as $25.
  5. Check your furnace: You should have a professional check to see that your furnace is working properly. Replace the furnace filter monthly and verify that nothing is obstructing an outdoor heat pump.
    • Verify that your furnace is not on “emergency heat”. This will turn off energy-efficient settings and could double heating costs.
    • Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Full: Everyone always tells you to keep the fridge closed. But did you know that keeping your fridge and freezer full can also save money? Food acts as insulation and lessens the amount of time that the fridge has to run to stay cool.

Published 10/28/16