5 Ways To Save Money On Utilities

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In the past, we’ve talked about how to save money in the winter and, in particular, how to conserve energy when temperatures are cold. Now, building upon that, we’d like to share some easy tips for saving money on your utility bills.

According to TODAY, utility bills, such as those for heat and water, may be higher than normal this year due to increased fuel costs. To combat this rise in prices, here are five easy ways you can start saving on your energy bill—right now.

1. Turn Down That Thermostat!

Quick question: What temperature is your thermostat on? And is it the same 24/7, or do you turn it down when you go to sleep or to work? According to Energy.gov, you should turn your heat down by 10 or 15 degrees each day for approximately eight hours—for example, when you are sleeping or away at work. Once you get your next energy bill, you’ll be grateful you did. This way, you can save about 10 percent each year on your energy bill, Energy.gov states. This may sound extreme, but can you argue with saving 10 percent?

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2. Turn Down Your Hot Water Heater

Energy.gov also has advice on saving energy—and money!—when it comes to your water heater. Many households keep their hot water heater set to 140 degrees. How to save money? Lower your water heating temperature. Energy.gov recommends 120 degrees, which will not only cut down on energy costs, but will also slow down mineral buildup and corrosion. Plus, 140 degrees can be dangerous, as it carries scalding hazards. By lowering the temperature on your hot water heater, you can save $36-61 annually in standby heat losses (heat lost from your water heater into the surrounding basement area), as well as more than $400 in demand losses.

Note: This applies to most households; however, people with chronic respiratory illnesses or suppressed immune systems may need to keep it at 140 degrees, so speak to your doctor first.

Flickr | AMagill

3. Seal Your Windows

Sealing your windows may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not. Again, once you see the savings in your energy bill, you’ll become a fan. After all, you’ll no longer have drafts coming in from the windows and you’ll no longer be losing heat or air conditioning out of them. There are several kinds of sealants out there, from rubber weather sealing to window insulation film, and they only take a few minutes to apply.

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4. Take Shorter Showers

Here’s another question for you: How long are your showers? Chances are, too long—at least if you’re trying to cut down on your energy (and water) bill. According to The Simple Dollar, if you shorten your daily shower from 12 minutes to four, you can save $10-130 per year. Wow, right? Plus, you’ll be saving water, which is another added perk.

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5. Air Dry Your Clothes

Yes, we get why dryers are nice to have; however, if you air dry your clothes more often than not, you’ll save money on energy costs. The Saving Electricity website states that a clothes dryer accounts for 12 percent of electricity in the average household. Surprised? The site even gives an example scenario. At 0.15 kilowatts and 7.5 loads per week, you can save $196 (!) annually if you air dry instead. The site even has a chart wherein you can put in how many dryer loads you do per week and how much it’s costing you per load—and per year.

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There you have it—easy home hacks to save money on your utility bill, starting immediately. Personally, we can’t wait to get started.

About the Author

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Natalia Lusinski

In addition to Don't Waste Your Money, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), Simplemost (lifestyle topics), and The Delite (feel-good stories). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint). Learn More.