If you own or rent a home, then bills are nothing new to you! While many bills come at a fixed rate, utility bills are one of those expenses that we often pay too much for. It’s because we’re all too often wasting energy in completely avoidable ways. To help you drastically cut your utility bills and save money for better purposes, we’ve compiled this list of great ways to decrease your energy consumption!
Check Your Meter
Your power meter is the most accurate way to check your power consumption. It will show you how much power you’ve consumed, and that can help you contextualize your energy usage for the current month. Every little effort counts when saving energy, and by knowing how much energy you are consuming, you can formulate a plan to reduce your power consumption! Before you can gain any information from checking your meter, you need to learn how to check it and what the information means. By taking a look every now and then, you have the opportunity to act quickly and reduce your consumption immediately. When you constantly check your power meter, you won’t be surprised by your energy bill at the end of the month.
Turn the Lights Off
If you’re not in a room, then you have no reason to keep the light on! This is one of the simplest things that a homeowner can do to decrease their utility bills. It’s easy to forget a light or two when you go shopping or head out on a trip, so it’s a good idea to check all rooms before you leave the house. Even better — install a smart light system to automatically turn your lights off after a certain amount of time. It’s a small investment that pays for itself very quickly. Furthermore, efficient light bulbs do the same job while consuming much less power.
Even if you’re not actively using an appliance, it’s still drawing power if it’s plugged in. This is sometimes referred to as “vampire” electricity use, and that’s a perfect name. Instead of sucking your blood, vampire appliances are sucking your bank account! In the US, vampire appliances cost renters and homeowners over $150 per year, and they get absolutely no benefit from it!
Seal Windows and Doors in Winter
When it’s cold out, heat tries to find a way to escape. Anyone who has received a heating bill knows this, and they pay for it! Shrink wrap can be put over the windows to block a draft at minimal cost. Windows and door frames should be re-caulked before the cold season sets in to ensure that your home is better insulated.
Scan for Cracks
Cracks in your windows, foundation, and walls will make your home much harder to heat or cool. On top of that, these things can compromise your structural integrity over time, invite pests, and lead to costly damage. When a crack is found early, it can be taken care of immediately. If it’s found later, then it will take more money to fix, and you’ll lose more energy and face higher utility bills.
Typical showerheads use nearly three gallons of water per minute! Your twenty-minute shower may not have seemed like a big deal before, but when you think of it as a 60-gallon shower, it kind of puts it into perspective. Those are 60 gallons of water that you’re potentially paying for, and you’re also paying to heat those 60 gallons! Even if your showers aren’t that long, it only really takes three or four minutes to do a very thorough job when you’re not just standing idly under the warm water. To further save on your energy bills, consider installing low flow showerheads. Shower timers can also get the job done for those who don’t have the willpower to step out on time!
Hang Dry Clothes
Your dryer is an appliance that runs at high temperatures for over an hour. Does it really come as a surprise that this appliance consumes a lot of energy? While it may not be feasible in every season, hanging your clothes to dry is a solid alternative to your clunky, wasteful dryer. Wind and outdoor air don’t cost you a penny, and avoiding the dryer helps your clothes last longer.
Hand Wash Dishes
Dishes can be a real pain in the neck, but if you make a point to hand wash them before they accumulate, it’s a simple, easy process. Your dishwashing machine uses a lot of energy to accomplish something that you can easily do by hand. If you absolutely must use your dishwasher, then at least make sure that the dishwasher is full before you start the cycle! It’s extremely wasteful to use a dishwasher for just a few dishes, and you’ll be kicking yourself for it when the electricity bill comes in.
Don’t Open the Oven Door
It’s tempting to open the oven door time and time again to check on your food, but that won’t make your roast cook any quicker. In fact, it’ll make the cooking process take much longer. Much heat is lost when you open the oven door for even a second, so keep it closed and peer through the window to check on your delicious meal.
Now that you know these very useful ways to save energy, you can look forward to lower utility bills at the end of the month! By reducing your power consumption, you’re saving your hard-earned money and doing the planet a favor. Good job!