Utilities are often nonnegotiable in your budget. You have to have them. That doesn’t mean your bills need to skyrocket. There are savings solutions available for you to help cut down on your expenses.
- Cut the cord on cable television. Many shows are available through streaming services for a small subscription fee.
- Turn down the brightness on your big-screen TV, which is usually set very bright for showroom display.
- Heating and cooling
- Close doors to rooms you don’t use during the day to save money on heating and cooling. Check around doors and windows for drafts and seal them.
- Use bathroom and kitchen vents sparingly during the summer or winter. They blow cooled or heated air outside.
- Turn your air conditioner up or your heater down by just a few degrees to reduce your energy bill. A programmable thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature to save energy when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Reset your water heater to 130 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to clean dishes, wash clothes and take a warm shower. The default setting is typically 140 to 160 degrees.
- Around the house
- Turn off unused appliances and electronics that drain power. Unplug cell phones and other gadgets that are fully charged.
- Replace older household appliances with energy-efficient models. Also, consider switching to gas appliances that typically cost less to run than electric.
- Replace light bulbs with low-energy compact fluorescents or LED bulbs.
- Use a microwave for heating small portions of food. It uses 80 percent less energy than a stovetop.
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when you have a full load.
- Take showers instead of baths, and limit length. Low-flow showerheads and water faucets can reduce water bills.
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