Utility bills are a fact of life for homeowners, but following these five simple tips can lead to significant savings every month and put more money in your pocket!
Install a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
The EPA’s EnergyStar program reports than homeowners using smart or programmable thermostats save on average $180 per year. While initially more expensive than a conventional thermostat, the savings in the first year alone can often pay for the cost of the unit.
Turn Down the Hot Water Heater and Turn Up the Spin Cycle
Consumer Reports suggests reducing the temperature on your hot water heater from 140 degrees to 120, and using higher spin cycle settings on your washing machine. This pair of quick and easy changes will save money on laundry, which can account for over 10% of a households energy use!
Out Smart Your Small Appliances
Using smart outlets and power strips with your kitchen appliances, televisions and other plugged-in devices allows you to control and monitor their energy use right from your phone. Doing so takes the effort out of having to manually turn off older power strips and will save money every month by preventing these items from passively draining power while not in use.
Use Your Dishwasher
Everyone hates washing dishes, so why not use your dishwasher instead? Energy Use Calculator reports that using your dishwasher actually saves energy over washing dishes by hand! For even more savings the US Department of Energy recommends letting those clean dishes air dry by using the air dry feature of many dishwashers or slightly opening the door of the unit after the cycle is complete. An easy hack for doing this is to load the dishwasher at night, start it when you wake up, and open the door before you go to work. Those dishes will be ready to go by the time you get home.
Look For Your True-Blue Friend
For those of you already using energy efficient natural gas appliances, the US Department of Energy recommends periodically checking to make sure your natural gas powered appliances are running at peak efficiency by looking for a blue flame being produced by the appliance. Yellow flames are an indication the appliance is not burning fuel efficiently, if this is the case, contact the manufacturer or your local clean burning natural gas supplier, they’ll be happy to help you out.