Bills are a part of life, but you could be paying too much for them. Small changes could help you unlock your home’s hidden savings potential. Here are 10 tips for saving money around your house.
- Unplug Unused Appliances
Even when not on, your appliances still use a small amount of electrical energy. The “idle load” power could account for over 20% of your home electricity bill.
Unplugging unused appliances can keep them from sucking up energy. While items like your refrigerator likely need to stay on to keep food safe, you can unplug others like your toaster, blender and air fryer. Another solution is to use power strips, which prevent the appliances from drawing idle energy.
- Don’t Keep Your HVAC Running
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can be vital for your comfort, but it also uses a good amount of power. Slice your energy bill by turning off or reducing your system when you’re away.
Turn your thermostat 7°–10° Fahrenheit higher in the summer and cooler in the winter. When you’re not home, the temperature difference won’t bother you. If you work from home, consider opening windows, or using heaters and fans to regulate the temperature.
- Replace Your Air Filter
Not regularly replacing your air filter could strain your HVAC system and raise your energy cost. While the filters generally need replacing every few months, it’s essential to consult your manual for the correct type of filter and how often you should change it.
When it gets too dirty, your filter forces the unit to work harder, which can lead to premature damage. It tries to compensate for less airflow by forcing it through the filter, wasting power. Keeping a clean filter helps avoid these problems, reducing your bill and preventing early repairs or replacement.
- Seal Your Drafts
Another thing that can impact your energy use is having open or cracked seals. When drafts enter your house, regulating the temperature is more difficult. Your HVAC must work harder to keep your home at a consistent temperature. By caulking cracks and adding weatherstripping to doors and windows, you can make regulation much faster and keep your space at the same temperature.
- Use Your Appliances at Night
You can save money by using high-power appliances at night when energy rates are lower. Power companies increase the amount you pay for electricity, water and gas during high-use times since they’re in high demand. Fewer people use energy late at night, often making it a better time to run your dryer or dishwasher.
- Switch Your Light Bulbs
You’re likely wasting precious money if you still have incandescent light bulbs. Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs are much more efficient, using 75% less energy than incandescents. LEDs also last 25 times longer, saving you money on replacement bulbs.
- Dry Your Clothes on a Line
On average, dryers use between 1,500 and 5,000 watts of electricity, depending on the model. By reducing your dryer use, you can save money and energy. If you wash fuller loads of clothes, you can dry them together, using the appliance less. Consider skipping the dryer altogether on sunny days and using a clothesline instead.
The fresh air can easily dry your clothing without any energy use. The ultraviolet rays from the sun can do a more effective job at killing germs that remain on your clothes, giving you two benefits with no energy use.
- Wash With Cold Water
Most garments wash well in cold water, which can save significant energy costs. You can save around $60 annually by not relying on your water heater.
Research shows modern washers wash normal loads almost as effectively in cold water as in warm water. Cold loads also reduce damage to your clothes and eliminate the number of microfibers released into the environment.
- Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
The higher your water temperature, the more energy it takes to heat it. Temperatures at more than 140°F could cost you up to $61 annually.
Most homes only need a water tank that reaches 120°F to prevent mineral build-up. It’s still warm enough to clean effectively with soap and is still warmer than the American Academy of Dermatology recommends to shower in.
If you can access the thermometer, check the temperature on the water heater. You can adjust the heater’s thermostat by turning off the breaker and changing the temperature within the access panel.
- Bundle Your Cable and Internet Service
Many cable companies allow you to combine your television and internet costs at a discounted rate. The promotion encourages you to go with the same provider for multiple services.
If you don’t want cable, you can often bundle phone and internet together, saving even more. If you don’t watch much television, consider using the internet to stream your favorite shows and movies, and eliminate cable or satellite service.
Stop Losing Money At Home
By making small changes, you can save money at home. Cutting your energy, lowering your water temperature capacity, and bundling your electronic services could give you more spending or saving money each year.