Tuesday’s Tips: Reducing Utility Bills

Since the money you get paid for working probably is not going up anytime soon, and if you do get lucky and find a better job or get a raise it probably will not be enough to compensate for the rising cost of living; this week’s tips are on how to reduce utility costs.

  1. Lower the thermostat on your water heater. 120 degrees is safe.  Any higher and you risk burning yourself, and raising your electric bill.  The savings may or may not be noticeable if this is the only technique you employ; but it will make a difference over the course of time.
  2. Keep your indoor temperature regulated. This way the heating or cooling is only running when needed, as opposed to all the time.  78-80 degrees is an ideal setting for comfort and energy conservation.  For each degree warmer you keep your home, you save 7-10% on your energy bills.
  3. Use efficient light bulbs. Use appropriate wattages, or switch to the compact fluorescent bulbs
  4. Grill or Microwave your meals. This uses less electricity, prevents the house from warming up excessively in the summer, and reduces your overall cook time.  Save money on energy and eat sooner?  Win-Win, if you ask me.
  5. Evaluate your Telephone, Television and Internet costs. Make sure you are not paying for services you do not use regularly.  Consider reducing your packages.
  6. Make sure your home is properly insulated and check weather stripping. You do not want to let your air out, and outdoor air in, regardless of the season.  Ensuring windows and doors are properly sealed increases your efficiency.
  7. Limit the time you spend in the shower. The more water you use, the more you spend, so keep it reasonable.
  8. Clean and replace filters regularly. If clogged, dirty, or old, the furnace will work harder (using more energy) to produce the same effect.
  9. Keep lighting fixtures clean. If your fixtures are dirty, your lights are going to appear dimmer, so you may be inclined to increase your wattage, burning more electricity to achieve the same result.

What are some things I’ve missed?  What do you do to conserve?  Share your thoughts below.

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