You have so much control over your environs when you own a home. Renting an apartment deprives you so much reduced access to your environment. But then, there are still a lot of things you can do to cut down on the amount of money that goes on utility every month if you are considering energy savings. Here in this article are easy and quick guides on how to save money on utility bills.
You know every effort you make to keep the cost of things low should have every bit put into consideration. And if you have had to sort out utility bills for a few years, there are chances that you are aware of the likelihood of these bills getting out of hand.
What Are Utilities?
Utilities are simply the services you receive to run your home. These services can vary, but they largely include electric services, gas, and water. Internet services, phone, and a host of others are included as well.
So, if you have found yourself paying hugely to have the water running or the lights retained, here are steps on how to save money on utility bills.
1. Make Use Of Fluorescent Light Bulbs
It’s time you start considering those energy-efficient light bulbs to cut down on electricity consumption. Harness compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as more affordable alternatives to bring down the cost on energy. EnergyStar.gov stated that these kinds of bulbs can reduce energy consumption by 70% to 90% than the traditional incandescent light bulbs. This means you will be able to save up to $50 annually.
Begin by making use of your frequently used fixtures. It would be amazing how less frequently you’ll need to replace any of your light bulbs after changing them. And this is also in addition to the benefit of consuming less energy. Don’t forget that the lifespan of traditional incandescent light bulbs is only between 750 to 1000 hours.
However, the CFLs can function for 6,000 to 15,000 hours! This is according to the EnergyStar.gov.
You do not have to replace all your light bulbs at once. Put in new measures as the bulbs burn out. This will help you achieve your energy saving goals with ease.
2. Replace Your Filters And Cleanup Vents
It is very important that you change air condition filters regularly. The airflow can get blocked if dirts settle on them and they get clogged up with dirt, dust, and pet hair. This forces your air conditioning units to strain till they are unable to function any longer.
So, you should replace those filters often and clean up and suck up the dust using vacuum’s brush extension. Outdoor units also require similar measures. Remove debris from the units, trim back bushes, and give room for a smooth functioning.
3. Unplug Unused Electronics
We all have those electronics we make daily use of. And there are several of them that stay permanently plugged without being put to use for many days. This could be a video game console or an extra TV set. What we may not know is that when we keep electronics plugged in, they still consume a very small amount of energy regularly. This kind of energy consumption is dubbed “phantom energy”. And they subtly drive up our power bills. So, it is crucial that you develop the habit of unplugging things. Energy.gov advises that you take out time to briefly examine each of the outlets in your home and decide which of the electronics should be unplugged when not being used. To power-off multiple devices all at once, you should consider using the smart power strips and extension cord.
4. Consider Programmable Thermostat
Harnessing the use of programmable thermostats in your apartment based on your schedule would help you bother less about keeping your temperature level into memory, to turn it down whenever you are leaving home. So, if you pay for electric utilities or gas, and do not have a programmable thermostat, in your home, it is important to have one in place. You may want to speak to your landlord about it.
Perhaps your landlord frowns at it, you should consider having reminders set to help you remember to raise or drop temperature when necessary. Energy.gov says that this move can help you save like 1% for every 8 hours for every degree you bring down your thermostat.
5. Speak To Your Utility Company
Many utility companies have incentives and programs that are put in place to help to encourage their customers to save cash on energy consumption. So, you should consider going over their website for measures on how to save money on utility bills.
Each of the measures may seem insignificant at first, but then it can quickly turn out to be much worth it. It would also help to think of more ways to cut down on more costs.
6. Consider Low-Flow Water Fixtures
Low-flow fixtures can help you to cut down on the quantity of water you make use of and also impact on reduction of water bill. While you can replace existing fixtures, you can also add an attachment to your shower head, kitchen and bathroom faucets to cut down on the water quantity consumed and without sacrificing water pressure. This measure can help you to save up to 60% on water usage, according to Energy.gov. Ensure to request the permission of your landlord before taking this move. Also remember to switch back to the initial fixtures when you are moving out.
7. Fix Fans
Fans do not consume as much energy as cooling and central heating systems. So you can save money on utility bills by putting ceiling fans in place which can be beneficial for both winter and summer since many come with switch changes for the direction of rotation. You can make them work counterclockwise during summer to let in the cool air, and clockwise during winter. You’ll in fact appreciate them if your apartment is on a top-floor that is easily pressured by the sun when summer climaxes.
And even if you will not be able to fix ceiling fans or your landlord won’t allow you to fix them, get some pedestal fans instead. They are also beneficial to cutting down on energy consumption, and makes it unnecessary to cut down the thermostat further lower than required. Some of them even use remote controls.
8. Harness Fancy Curtains
Blackout curtains keep away noise and light while also keeping the home cool or warm, which equally allows setting your thermostat a few degrees lower or higher than you would have normally done. You do not have to fix this on every window in your home. Only consider windows where the most sunshine comes all through the day or also leaving out rooms for drafts in winter.
9. Use Dryer Balls To Cut Down On Drying Time
You’d have thought dryer balls only function as prevention to static and wrinkles, but they do much more! They can actually cut down on drying time for as much as 25%. So, aside from the fact that you’d be saving some extra cash, you’ll also be able to bring down the amount of time spent on chores.
10. Get Your Appliances Upgraded
One smart way to save money on utility bills is to invest in energy-saving appliances. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, heaters, cooling systems, and ovens can cost quite a lot upfront but making out an investment on energy-saving alternatives will help you cut down on costs in the long run. As these huge appliances with big-tickets can be an investment, it is expedient that you figure out strategies to save some cash ahead of time.
Another thing to check out is the perfect time to make a purchase on a new appliance by following up on the releases of new models and the big sales. You find out most of the big sales come up during the holiday period, which includes Labor Day, Black Friday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Fourth of July.
Several brands also have special discounts on some particular sales when they are working around bringing in new models. Unlike refrigerators that often get debuted in May, most brand models get rolled out around January, September, and October.
You can also visit websites like Craigslist, eBay, LetGo, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace for getting your hands on upgraded used appliances.
11. Get Your Appliances To Function Smartly
A lot of key appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers are not within the control of the tenants or renters since they are directly owned by the landlord, and people who rent do not have the permission to change them out. A few decisions you can however make to make existing appliances work much smarter includes skipping rinse your dishes ahead of time when using a dishwasher. Many of these dishwashers can handle food residue without necessarily with a pre-rinse assistance. Energy.gov. says this move will be helpful to cut down on energy and water consumption.
And if you are stuck with older appliances, you will be required to consider some trial and error measures to find out how rinsing just a little can be helpful. Another trick you may want to give a try is to consider using an air-dry setting to the heat-dry setting for your dishwasher.
As for your laundry, EnergyStar.gov. suggests that you consider washing your clothes when there is a large volume of them. Also, consider cold or warm water to hot water. Well, except you have a really stubborn stain to deal with. Don’t forget also that your washing machines spend about 90% of energy consumption on getting the water heated.
Another step is to clean the lint trap in your clothes every time you use them. This measure aids the efficient flow during your drying cycle. When there is proper airflow, it aids shorter drying times which impacts on reduced electricity use. In addition, you should use a drying rack so that your clothes can air-dry when needed. Several department stores have the collapsible versions which would save up space in your home after use.
12. Optimized Windows Coverings
This measure can help regulate your apartment temperature and a very efficient tip on how to save money on utility bills. You can keep your blinds open on a sunny day during winter. This would aid an organic warmth from the sun into your home all day, according to U.S. News and World Report. While this isn’t going to be a substitute for your heater, however, you should bring down your thermostat temperature setting without losing out on so much warmth.
And if your place of residence is an area with cold winters, then harness the use of temporary plastic window film to keep away the wind and cold. The inexpensive clear window film if attached to your windowpane that you do not feel it’s there and would still have complete access to your blinds. It will not cost up to a dollar for each window, and it can be easily removed without causing any damage to your windows after each season.
During summer, you can keep your blinds open to ease the workload on your cooling system till later in the evening when you return. This will cut down on the amount of sunlight that passes into your apartment, and also reduce heat effects in your home. Energy.gov. says lowering your blinds totally during a sunny window can significantly cut down on heat gain to up to 45%.