5 Ways to save on utility bills this winter

During the winter it's easy to boost the thermostat and plug in dozens of holiday decorations. But with…
5 Ways to save on utility bills this winter
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During the winter it’s easy to boost the thermostat and plug in dozens of holiday decorations. But with these luxuries, comes higher utility bills. Want to shave a few dollars from next month’s expenses? Use these tips to save on utility bills including water, electricity, and gas.

There’s no reason to heat your home to a comfortable 72 degrees when you’re not home. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to keep your home at a cooler 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re away from home. This is still warm enough for pets and to keep water pipes from freezing. Using less energy means lower electricity or gas bills.

All water heaters have a temperature setting. Try dialing down this setting by five or ten degrees. If you’re mixing hot and cool water when you shower, you’ll just be using a little less cool water. The less time you need to heat your water, the less energy you’re using. The only trade off is a little less water pressure since you’re not using as much water from the cold water line.

Take a walk through your house and see what appliances are plugged in, but not in use. It takes energy to illuminate an LCD screen or bright red power button. Typical culprits are coffee makers, empty fragrance emitters in electrical outlets, and radios. Get in the habit of plugging these appliances in as you need them to save on utility bills.

There’s no need to forgo a shower or cancel your cooking endeavors. But, when it comes to water usage, we waste a lot. Try limiting your shower to five minutes and filling the bathtub half full. When performing beauty and hygiene tasks at the sink, turn off unneeded running water. This includes brushing your teeth and applying an exfoliating face wash. In the kitchen, get in the habit of filling a sink with sudsy water when washing dishes instead of scrubbing and rinsing under a steady stream of water.

Sure you can’t go out and replace the refrigerator and washing machine in a weekend. But, when it comes time to make these major purchases, look at energy efficiency ratings. You will pay a bit more up front to buy the appliance, but when it comes time to pay the electric bill, you’ll see the savings.