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Things You Can Do to Lower Your Utility Bills

Savvy homeowners know that meeting household expenses means sticking to a budget and keeping the cost of homeownership under control.  One of the easiest ways to do that is by lowering your utility bills.

 
According to the U.S. Department of Energy1, the typical American household spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills!  The good news is it’s easy and simple to reduce these bills by 25 percent. That’s a saving of about $550 a year!
 

Eight easy and free ways to use less energy!

  1. Air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  2. Lower the thermostat on the water heater to 120°F.
  3. Take short showers instead of baths.
  4. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. actions
  5. Air dry clothes – on a drying rack inside or use a clothes line outside.
  6. Check to see that windows and doors are closed when the heating or cooling is on. 
  7. Turn off lights when you are not in the room. 
  8. Electronics in standby mode use several watts of power so turn these off when not in use.  
 
There are other ways to save on a home’s energy costs. Some suggestions cost little or nothing. Others may require an investment in time and money.
 
Almost half (48%) of a household’s utility costs go toward heating and cooling. How can you reduce this cost?
  • Replace older single-paned windows with more efficient double-paned windows.
  • One of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and more energy efficient is to add insulation to the attic. You may want to consult a professional about insulation and what is appropriate for your home.
 
Water heating makes up about 18% of your utility bill. What can you do?
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads, and repair leaky faucets.
  • Insulate the water heating tank, following manufacturers guidelines. (Hire a professional, if you’re not confident in your skills!)
  • Water heaters only last about 10 to 15 years. It may be time to replace on old heater with a more energy-efficient one.
 
About 13% of your home’s energy cost is attributed to appliances, especially refrigerators and clothes dryer. What can you do?
  • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 35˚-38˚F for refrigerators and 0˚F for separate freezers for long-term storage.
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it. Clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation and prevent fire hazards.
  • Replace old appliance with ENERGYSTAR-rated new appliances.
 
There are many other suggestions for using less energy and reducing your utility bills. The U.S. Department of Energy’s website, energysaver.gov, is an excellent resource for more information. 
 
Source Material
  1. Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money and Energy at Home. U.S. Dept. of Energy. Energysaver.gov.  May 2014. https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/09/f18/61628_BK_EERE-EnergySavers_w150.pdf?kbid=103076

- By The HMA Team, May 08, 2018



 
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