Day-to-day living expenses can sometimes pose a challenge to families trying to get by on a limited income. One way families can live more frugally and cut down on expenses is by taking measures to save on utility bills. All it takes is paying attention to these ten little money saving tips that often go unnoticed. By following these steps it is easy to save hundreds of dollars each year on utility bills.
A home that is not properly insulated will not hold heat in the wintertime and will also be hard to keep cool in the summer. Make sure to seal all cracks around windows and doors that allow air to seep into the home. Most repairs to repair drafty cracks in doors and windows are simple to perform and can result in significant savings on the home heating and cooling bills.
Turn off appliances and electronics when not in use
People often underestimate how much energy appliances like TVs, game consoles and computers use. Leaving these appliances on also makes the home warmer, making the air-conditioning unit work harder to keep the home cool.
Replace baths with showers
Instead of filling up a tub with hot water, try taking a warm shower instead. Taking a bath uses much more water than taking a shower. Anyone who doubts this can put a stopper in the tub when taking a shower and see how much less water is used. Take shorter showers as well, to save even further on utility bills.
Use energy efficient appliances
There are certain brands of appliances that use less energy than some brand name appliances, such as the “Energy Star” appliances. By replacing all old appliances with energy efficient ones, families can add dramatic savings to their utility bills. Replacing the central heat/air system air filter regularly, at least monthly, will also keep the unit running more efficiently and save on utility bills.
Adjust the temperature in your home
The heater does not have to constantly run just because it is winter. Turn the heat down in the winter to around 65 degrees. Once the body grows acclimated to this temperature, a new comfort level is established. If it still seems chilly inside, try dressing warmer, preferably in layered clothing. For summer, keep the thermostat set at 80 degrees. On the same note, dress in lighter clothing and use fans to stay cool during the hottest part of the summer. If it is difficult to remember to turn the temperature up or down when needed, install a programmable thermostat.
Cut down on baking in the summertime
A hot stove or oven can dramatically increase the temperature in the home, making the air conditioner work harder to keep the home cool and use more energy. Take this time to enjoy eating cool salads, cold cuts, and other light foods that do not require cooking and the home will stay much cooler, saving energy at the same time.
Use window shades
Window shades not only add attractive décor to the home, they also provide needed insulation, keeping the heat in during the winter, and the heat out during the summer. Drapes over the blinds add to this effect, resulting in even more energy savings.
Use LED or fluorescent light bulbs
Energy Star fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs and LED bulbs are even more efficient. By replacing all the light bulbs in the home with energy efficient ones, the savings to an electric bill can quickly add up. These light bulbs also last significantly longer than regular light bulbs, so they will not have to be replaced as often.
Close off vents to less frequently used rooms
By closing off vents in rooms that are not being used, heating and cooling air is much more easily circulated in the remaining rooms of the home. This makes the heating or cooling system work more efficiently, saving money on heating and cooling bills.
In addition, for maximum efficiency and safety, make sure vents are clear of furniture, carpet and other obstructions.
Plant trees around your home
Trees planted around the home provide an attractive landscape as well as giving the home added insulation against cold in the winter and heat in the summer. The trees also improve the air quality of the outside yard.
Those who talk a lot and still need a land line can save a good deal with a voice over IP phone.
Ways to conserve water covers various techniques that will reduce water use and its expense.
Find the best providers
With sites to include Billshrink, it is possible to quickly compare a lot of different services and find which one offers the best price. Even small savings can add up over time, so make the effort to do a thorough search of everything from car insurance to cable companies.
Saving on other bills
Although these are not technically a utilities, they are regular costs similar to utilities and need to be controlled..
Pay off credit cards
While there is virtually no getting around paying most types of bills, credit card interest can be totally eliminated. For those with credit cards, the following guide to credit cards covers topics including paying off credit card debt to low interest credit cards, cash back credit cards and how to properly use credit card balance transfers.
People often take out more insurance than they need or the wrong types. For example, those extended warrantees offered at stores are usually a waste of money. This guide to insurance will help you find the right kinds of insurance and at the lowest possible cost.
Get the right mortgage
From getting the right mortgage in the first place to the best way to refinance, there are a lot of ways to reduce that mortgage bill covered in the following guide to home mortgages.
Use online bill pay
Paying bills takes enough time and effort without having to add the extra costs of stamps, etc. Use online bank accounts to pay bills automatically. This greatly reduces the chances of getting hit with late fees and eliminates the need for stamps. There is the added benefit of avoiding the chance of checks getting lost or stolen.