- June 3, 2016
- Credit and Financing, Home Improvement
- No Comments
Both water and electric bills are billed based on usage, so it’s important to keep in mind long before the end of the month when the bill comes. Here are a few tips to cut your usage and reduce your bill at the end of the month and help you save money for a beautiful new home!
- Eco-friendly Utilities
- Becoming more and more popular, solar panels are an easy way to harness energy that’s almost always there. Sunlight, available no matter where you live, can be harnessed and turned into renewable energy and save you money at the same time. Cloudy locations, no need to worry, as even on overcast days, most solar panels can absorb sunlight to produce energy. In fact, they work better in cooler locations, and many cloudy days might just be more profitable than several extremely hot and sunny days. Most states will offer a rebate incentive for installing solar panels; requirements and definitions may vary between states. This helps reduce the initial investment before your monthly electricity bills drop. Check here for your state’s programs.
- Geothermal heat pumps aren’t the first eco-friendly appliance people think of, and not many people know how geothermal works, but can help substantially lower your utility costs.
- In contrast to conventional water heaters, tankless water heaters conserve energy and space. Without a tank to store the pre-heated water, it’s a smaller appliance that takes up less room and don’t heat water when you don’t need it. Instead of heating water in advance to just wait until the hot water faucet is turned on, tankless water heaters only heat when the water is wanted, therefore saving you energy costs. You’ll also never run out of hot water, purely because water is heated as it’s being used, creating a continuous stream of hot water.
- Shorter Showers
Spending less time with the faucet running might be the easiest way to cut costs, especially because showering is a common activity. Figure out a way to make your shower a little shorter, even if that means only shaving one minute off. If you listen to music during your morning routine, create a playlist the length of your desired shower. When the last song comes on, you’ll know it’s time to wrap it up. Same goes with doing dishes, brushing teeth or the hose outside. The more water (especially hot) you use, the higher your bill. Rinse only at the end when all the dishes are soapy, turn the faucet off while you brush and water plants sparingly, and when you must, do it during a cooler part of the day.
Though appliances have power switches, the off position doesn’t always mean the appliance has stopped using your energy. The New York Times published an article on appliances that still use power even when they’re “off”, and many suck energy even when they’re not running. While it may not make sense to unplug your cable box or router, consider unplugging chargers when they’re not charging anything, or your laptop is completely charged but still plugged in. The difference might be small each month, but can certainly add up over the course of a year.
- Use Off-Peak Hours
Generally, electricity companies have off-peak hours on holidays, weekends and evenings until early morning. Use those, you’ll pay a fraction of normal energy rates for the same service. Using off-peak hours is easy too, just wait until everything is cleaned up from dinner to run the dishwasher and throw in a load of laundry in the evening, leaving yourself enough time to put it in the dryer before you go to bed. When morning comes, things will be clean and you saved yourself some money.
- Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs
Old lightbulbs got hot when they were on, the heat being entirely lost energy. With energy-efficient lightbulbs, there’s no heat and no lost energy: what you see is what you get, literally. In replacing old for new bulbs, you don’t need to even replace all the lightbulbs in your house, and can instead replace only the bulbs in your most-used fixtures. The price tag on energy-efficient bulbs is higher than traditional incandescents, but with a longer lifetime and their energy-saving nature, they’re worth it in the long run, as compared to traditional incandescents. Halogen, compact fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs are all options when it comes to energy-saving options, depending on what type of fixture you’re using.