Most of us homeowners have some big and some small things that we can do to save money on utility bills. Whether you just want to drop a few dollars off your bills by installing some energy saving light bulbs (that’s a good penny pincher idea), or whether you want to install some solar energy panels (a good dollar stretcher idea), doing just a few of these things can make a tremendous amount of difference on your home energy savings.
Did you know that most folks lose up to 30% or more of the energy in their home without the need to? They might as well just take a $50 bill and flush it down the toilet every month…It’s the same thing if you think about it!
Save Money On Utilities
The good news is that you can save money on utilities without it being over challenging or over costly. In fact, some of the simple things that you can do are as easy as flushing a toilet…ha ha…no pun intended. There are some creative ways to save money that will cost a decent amount of money to implement into a home. These are usually the type of money saving ideas that can save you a great deal of money.
On the following pages we are going to show you some money saving tips and tricks that you can do right away to save money on your utilities. That’s right, were going to show you how to save money fast!
First we will start with some of the easiest ways to save money and then we will work up to the larger home energy savings.
Easiest Ways to Save Money!
The easiest ways to save money is to get up, right now…… come on get off the computer and walk from room to room in your home. Turn off any light, any fan, any appliance that your not using. Don’t forget to unplug those units that leave LED lights on even when they are turned off. These units can save you a great deal of money. Go ahead…see how much you can already save just by doing this and then come back here.
Okay, what did you find? Are you and your family already home energy efficient trained (were things already turned off), or do you need some training (found a few things on that were burning energy). This just takes time, persistence, and sometimes lots of communication – “sweat energy” if you will. If all else fails in this area you could always install some timers. Timers will turn off lights and appliances after a given set of time.
Now we will talk about some of the things you can do just once, and then sit back and know that you’re receiving the biggest bang for your buck, over and over again, day in and day out…
When I was a little kid, my stepfather was very conservative. In fact, he was so concerned about saving water and electricity that he would train us on how to do things in the home. One of these things was taking a shower (no baths allowed). Here’s what he’d say: “When you get into the shower, turn the water on and immediately get your whole body wet, then turn the shower off. Then soap up your body and shampoo your hair. Turn the water back on and rinse off. Turn the water off and your done!”
To make sure that we did exactly what he said to do…He would turn the hot water heater off. Nobody likes a cold shower, especially in the winter time, but cold water will make you jump in and jump out faster than you think.
I’m not suggesting that you do this but it is a clever idea if your in a position where you need to be an extreme penny pincher.
Lower the Hot Water Temperature
Lower the setting on your hot water heater to the lowest comfortable setting for you and your families needs. You can save a great deal of money by not heating the water as hot as you normally do. Most hot water heaters have dials that you can use for this purpose.
The best temperature setting for home energy savings is about 120F. You could save more money by installing a timer on your water heater. After all, there is no sense in warming water over and over throughout the day if your not home to use it. Instead, you should time it to your schedule. If your schedule is never the same, then perhaps keeping the water heater off during the night while your sleeping would be beneficial.
Probably one of the largest money saving tips in regards to your water heater is to have it insulated. Most water heaters are already insulated. However, we are going to take it to the next level.
By adding insulation around the outside of your water heater, the hot water stays hotter longer and reduces the amount of times that it has to cycle on and off. this is especially important if your water heater is located in the garage or outside.
You can either purchase these insulation pads pre-fit (takes just minutes to install), or you can make your own by purchasing some insulation and cutting it to size. Use some duct tape to hold it in place.
Hot Water Pipe Insulation
The next energy saving idea pertaining to your hot water heater is to purchase some hot water pipe insulation and install it over all of your hot water pipes.
This helps prevent temperature drop when the hot water travels from the hot water heater to wherever your using it. You can find this easy to use pre-made foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store. All you have to do is cut down one side of the insulation, fold the insulation over the pipe, and wrap some tape around it to cover the slits you made in it.
Most homes have ceiling fans installed throughout them. If you don’t, consider adding them…they can save you lots of money.
In the summer, moving air around makes you feel cooler which allows you to turn the thermostat up a notch or two.
In the winter, you can operate your fans on low speed and in the clockwise motion allowing the warm air that rises to be pushed up to your ceiling and down your walls. This helps to recirculate the warm air in your home and also creates an insulation of air next to your walls.
You can save money on your water bill by taking showers instead of baths. To save more water, consider installing a water saving shower head.
Less water usage means less hot water, which reduces the workload of your hot water heater saving you energy in the process. Yep, we just nipped two birds with one stone with that idea:)
Installing a programmable thermostat is by all means one of the smartest ways to save money.
Setting your home at the right temperature is the first goal. For optimal savings and comfort try 67F for winter and 78F for summer. If you can comfortably go above or below these set points…go for it!
Whats nice about the programmable thermostat is that you can pre-program the temperatures. Just one Ex: You can program your thermostat to turn off one hour before you wake up for work and have it turn on one hour before you come home from work.
The programming possibilities are endless, the convenience is dreamlike, and the energy savings are out of this world.
Air Conditioner – Furnace
Paying attention to your air conditioner/furnace is by far the best way to save money as it is the largest consumer of energy in your home.
One of the simplest, most effective, and most often overlooked methods to keeping your a/c-furnace operating efficiently is to change the air filter on a monthly basis (or as often as needed).
If your filters are clogged with dirt and debris, your system has to work harder. The harder it has to work, the more energy it uses. Not to mention the strain that this puts on your compressor. Dirty air filters are the number one cause for compressor failure and a compressor repair is one of the costliest repairs for your home comfort system.
You should also have your system checked and cleaned each year by a cooling/heating expert. This will improve the overall efficiency of your unit and prevent pre-mature replacement (a costly alternative).