Utilities are every household necessity. From the electricity, water, and gas, these things ensure your house functions properly. Without these essential features, a home is not complete and livable. The problem comes in if the utilities occupy a large portion of your monthly expenses.
According to Energy Star, America’s resource for saving energy, a typical U.S. household spends $2,000 on energy bills each year. The largest share of a household energy bill goes to heating (29%) and electronics (21%). Altogether, home appliances can cost you over $250 per year to operate.
Knowing what goes into your monthly bill can put you in a better position to save on utility costs. Saving is essential for your bank account, but for the environment as well. Here are the few lifestyle habits you can try to save on your utility bills.
1. Monitor Your Utility Usage and Payments
The first and most important step toward energy-efficient living is to monitor your utility usage regularly. Keeping track of how much you spend monthly can help you gather data about your energy usage. The figures will help you determine the best energy-saving strategy.
2. Maximize Natural Light
Nature light helps in controlling the temperature and brightness around the house. Instead of keeping the lights turned on, why not get rid of curtains and draperies and let the sun in? If it gets too hot in the summer, plant trees and place indoor shades to control how light enters your home. Tree shades have cooling effects that provide relief from the heat.
3. Learn Energy-Saving Techniques
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, a U.S. household owns around 24 electronic products. These include televisions, game consoles, gadgets, kitchen appliances, and entertainment devices.
You can start by reducing your gadget usage. Look for other ways to keep you entertained, such as reading a book or playing with your pets. During summer, find ways to stay cool without using too much electricity. Keep your windows open and use fans instead of using the air conditioner constantly.
For the kitchen, use the gas stove or oven. Microwave consumes more electricity than a gas-powered appliance. You can also lower electricity usage if you adjust the temperature settings in your freezer. Cooling excessively is unnecessary.
4. Replace Outdated Appliances
Although buying new appliances can be a little expensive, using energy-efficient models can help you save more money in the long run. Home electric companies now offer energy-saving appliances, from air conditioning units, fans, washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more.
Check your water supply fixtures, like faucets, toilets, showers, and tubs. Look for any signs of pipe leaks and high flows. You can buy from plumbing supply companies to help you find the best plumbing fixture for your home.
5. Economize Water Usage
Saving water starts by cutting excessive water usage at home. One example is taking long showers regularly. Reducing your shower time saves more gallons of water than you realize.
If you’re using washing appliances, use the full capacity of your washing machine or dishwasher. An incomplete load is a sure way to wasting water. For those who have gardens, make sure to keep the watering to a minimum. Although water can make plants healthier, anything that is too much can damage your greenery.
6. Save Natural Gas
If you have been using too much gas at home, adopt a few strategies to reduce your gas consumption. If you are using a stove, try cooking things in rapid succession. You can do this by cooking meals simultaneously. This way, you maximize the heat you’re already using.
You can also avoid using the water heater. Other household chores don’t require using hot water, like washing dishes and doing the laundry. Instead of turning the heater on cold days, learn how to layer your clothes using sweaters and jackets.
7. Declutter and Deep Clean
Believe it or not, cleaning the house makes a huge difference to your energy bill. Every weekend, spend a few hours cleaning and decluttering. Getting rid of dust, fur, and other dirt particles improves the airflow around the house. Appliances can also function better without the burden of debris.
8. Upgrade Your Home
Doing a few house repairs can reduce your utility costs. Replace old windows by getting well-insulated windows. Instead of using a heating and cooling system at home, windows can do wonders in controlling the temperature of your home.
If you have areas in your home with poor insulation, you may consider adding more insulation. You can also buy a smart thermostat to maintain a reasonable temperature at your home without spending too much.
Understanding your household utility cost can make a big difference to your monthly bills. Aside from saving money, you reduce your energy consumption and help the environment. Make sure to conduct monthly maintenance of your home fixtures and monitor your energy usage to identify areas for improvement.