Americans living in major cities, on average, spend about $1,000 a month on utilities. These costs include electricity, water, cable TV, cell phone, gas, and more.
Using our 20+ tips on how to save money on utilities, however, can cut down your living costs significantly. Scroll down to find creative and proven ways of lowering your utility bills and saving cash along the way.
Table of Contents
- 1 Switch To Energy-Efficient Lights
- 2 Invest In A Programmable Thermostat
- 3 Clean or Replace All Vents and Air Filters
- 4 Invest in Fans
- 5 Change Your Water Heater Temperature
- 6 Install A Water-Saving Showerhead And Faucets
- 7 Fully Load A Dishwasher Or Washing Machine
- 8 Use Cold Water To Wash Clothes
- 9 Save Water When Flushing
- 10 Repair Any Leaks
- 11 Ditch Your Cable
- 12 Air-Dry Your Clothes
- 13 Unplug Electronics
- 14 Purchase Energy Star Appliances
- 15 Weather Strip Windows and Doors
- 16 Insulate Your House Properly
- 17 Have A Smart Cooking Strategy
- 18 Do Your Chores When Electricity Rates Are Cheaper
- 19 Limit Garbage Disposal Use
- 20 Reach Out To Your Utility Company
- 21 Final Thoughts On Saving Money On Utilities
Switch To Energy-Efficient Lights
Switch the traditional lights with energy-efficient ones to save money. These lights are not only cost-effective, but they also last 3 to 25 times longer. So, you won’t have to replace them as often as the regular ones. If you replace 5 most often used lights in your home with energy-efficient lights, you can save up to $75 per year.
Invest In A Programmable Thermostat
Wonder how to save money on utilities bills in the 21st century? Think of a programmable thermostat! With this device, you can turn the heating/cooling off while you are away and have it on before you get home. There are smart thermostats that cost around $120, which isn’t the cheapest. You will pay off the investment after 10 months, though. With a programmable thermostat, you save approximately $10 per month or 23% annually.
Clean or Replace All Vents and Air Filters
Dirty filters in the HVAC system result in more energy usage. It is recommended that filters are replaced every 3 months to reduce electric consumption by 15% a month. HVAC is responsible for at least half of the household’s energy usage. With the average electric bill being around $110, clean filters can save you about $16.5 per month. New filters cost $20, so the investment will pay off after the first months. Plus, you’ll avoid needing help with an electric bill in the long run.
Invest in Fans
The fans do not help with paying utilities, but they contribute to the effectiveness of the HVAC system. Set your fan to spin clockwise during winter, and counterclockwise during summer to make the warm/cool breeze circulate around the room. Thus, maintaining the right temperature. Set the fan by pulling the toggle switch on the side of the fan while the fan is off.
Change Your Water Heater Temperature
The water heater is one of the largest consumers of energy in your household, so making it cost-effective will save you money. Start by decreasing the temperature, which not only is good for your pocket but will also prevent the scalding. The recommended temperature is 120 degrees. With every 10 degrees you turn the heat down, you will save between 4%-22% annually. This step is a must for those who want to try living on $1,000 a month.
Install A Water-Saving Showerhead And Faucets
Replace your regular shower head with a water-saving one (costs between $10-$30) to reduce water and electricity bills. Old showerheads produced until 1993 use 5.5gpm, unlike the economic shower head, which spends 2.5gpm. The economical option results in 27,000 gallons less per year in a household of 4 people, and $260 less in expenses. Saving water in the toilet is a great way how to save on utilities in an apartment or a house.
Fully Load A Dishwasher Or Washing Machine
Do you know what happens when the dishwasher and washing machine are half loaded? They use the same amount of water and energy as they would if they were fully loaded. Strive to fully load them, so you wash less and spend less electric power and water. If you use this strategy, you will save $5.15 per year on water and $10 or more on electricity.
Use Cold Water To Wash Clothes
We wash laundry with hot water is because it is more efficient with removing bad stains or washing underwear. If you don’t need to wash something thoroughly, however, you can use cold water. When we translate this into saving money on utilities, you will cut costs by $0.04 per wash. The numbers quickly add up, so start separating your laundry for cold and warm washing.
Save Water When Flushing
Given that the toilet is one of the largest household’s water consumers, you should flush it only when necessary. If you don’t have a water-saving toilet tank, then make one yourself. Put a plastic bottle with water inside the tank. So, the tank fills up with less water and thus uses less water to flush. With this, you can save up to $45 a year.
Repair Any Leaks
Checking for leaks is a useful way on how to lower utility bills for a house. Monitor the water meter for 2 hours when you don’t use water for any changes. If it moves, there is a leak. Leaks are the cause of around 10,000 extra gallons of water per year. If you detect them on time, you can save 10% on the water bill.
Ditch Your Cable
Cable TV costs American households from $50 to $100 each month. Opting for a cheaper cable TV alternative can save you a significant amount of cash every month. If you go for an HD antenna, you’ll pay a single fee of $20. This can save you up to $1,100 per year.
Air-Dry Your Clothes
Air drying your clothes is the best way to save on utility bills. You can buy a drying rack that you can use indoors. Just remove it when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t take up space. A drying rack costs up to $30. If you entirely turn to air-drying clothes, you will save you more than $200 per year. Meaning, if your dryer breaks, don’t apply for the best payday loans to buy a new one.
When you are not using the devices or chargers, make sure to have them unplugged. They use electricity when plugged in (phantom electricity) even if they are turned off. You can buy smart power strips (around $10 each), which turns off the devices automatically when they are on standby. Doing so may save you $7 to $8 per month.
Purchase Energy Star Appliances
Other efficient ways to save on utilities include replacing the regular appliances with ones featuring an Energy Star. They are economical and do not cost much more than the standard ones. Replacing the most used appliances in your homes (washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, fridge, freezer) can save you up to $100 a year.
Weather Strip Windows and Doors
Weatherstripping or caulking windows and doors and preventing any air leaks is an efficient way to keep the desired temperature in your home. Make sure to do this with all doors and windows, chimneys, around the attic door, between the floor, etc. This saves you between 5-10% on your energy bill or 7.5% on average. You’ll end up with about $90 extra per year.
Insulate Your House Properly
Insulating your home is a proven way for cheaper utilities bills. It is not the cheapest investment, with the average cost being between $0.20 – $0.50 per square foot. Do the math yourself to see when the investment pays off with the yearly savings being around $200. The insulation, apart from preserving the temperature in your home, also provides sound insulation.
Have A Smart Cooking Strategy
Slow cookers are very efficient in saving money on utilities. You just need to plan ahead the hours for lunch to be ready. You will find them between $10 and $200. What they spend is 150 Watts per hour at a low setting. So, for 6 hours, the total use is 900-Watt hours. This way, you cut the cost by half for the electricity you spend on cooking. Meaning, instead of wondering how to pay for utilities, you should always think about how to cut your costs.
Do Your Chores When Electricity Rates Are Cheaper
You can save a serious amount of money on energy bills if you are doing household chores when the electricity rates are cheaper. Check out the best offers from suppliers and discover what the cheap hours are. Lower rates usually apply during the night or early in the mornings (off-peak hours). As the prices are higher during peak hours, avoid doing your chores then.
Limit Garbage Disposal Use
Always make sure to discover what are utilities for a house in your state. After all, not all Americans have the same freedom when it comes to housing. For instance, the option to cancel residential waste disposal is not available everywhere in the USA. The yearly costs for garbage disposal are between $150 and $260. So, that is the amount of money you will save if you decide to throw the trash to the dump yourself.
Reach Out To Your Utility Company
Some suppliers have programs and offers that stimulate users to cut back on energy use. Make sure to check their websites for tips on how to improve the energy efficiency in the house. All these tips sometimes look like too much effort for not much effect. Still, at the end of the year, they add up to significant savings.
Final Thoughts On Saving Money On Utilities
Everyone can save money on home utility bills if they use our expert tips. Just stick to the strategies that make sense for your lifestyle, and you’ll quickly notice the improvements. Remember, even $100 a month add up to $1,200 a year.
And if nothing else works, you can always split utilities between roommates.
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