Editor’s Note: This week, PerkStreet is celebrating America Saves Week with special content designed to help our readers save on things we all need to spend money on. We hope you enjoy this special content and take a moment to share it with other’s celebrating America Saves Week on Facebook and Twitter.
When you’re creating your budget, it can be difficult to calculate what you’ll owe in utilities. We can’t predict the weather a month in advance, but we can change our habits to make heating, cooling, water, and other utilities more affordable in all and any weather. Here’s a list of things you must try to shave the edges of your utility bill.
Saving on Heating and Cooling
- Instead of cranking the AC during the day, open your windows in the early morning and let the cool fresh air in. This will help keep your house cool throughout the day, and will also help to clear out any odors. Just make sure your AC or heating unit is turned off beforehand.
- Close off air vents to rooms that don’t need the heat or AC.
- Arrange beds or bedrooms to be close to air vents in your house.
- Use extra blankets on your bed or sleep in extra layers, and turn the heat down at night.
- Cook with your stove in the evening to warm the house for the night. If it’s winter, cook in the morning to warm the house for the day.
- Add rubber seals to doors or add a tubular air block that slides under the door. This will prevent warm and cool air from escaping rooms and your house
- Check the caulking on window seals; if it looks like the seal has come loose, re-caulk.
- Keep your blinds closed on hot, sunny days to keep cool air inside.
- If it’s cooler out, opening your curtains will allow natural, warming light to come into your house.
Saving on Electricity
- Put timers on your lights – or make a schedule yourself – so you aren’t using lightbulbs during the brightest parts of the day.
- Change your air filters regularly.
- Only do laundry when you need to wash large loads.
- Hang dry your clothes when possible. Try running the drier for half the alotted time, then switch your clothes to hangers or an indoor line.
- Wash dishes by hand.
- Unplug appliances if you’re not using them. If you use power strips, you’ll only have one cord to unplug at a time.
Savings that Cost More Up Front but Might Make Sense
- Insulate your attic. This will help your house better matain its temperature.
- Insulate your water heater to keep heat from escaping it.
- Install a programmable thermostat for your heater and AC unit – even for your water heater.
- Use solar-powered outdoor lights.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs.
Challenge: Pick out some of things above and implement them this week.
What do you do to save money on your utility bills? List them in the comments section below.
Julie Thompson is a Christian, a wife and mother of three children. Her favorite way to save is by using coupons. She loves to budget, save money, craft, paint, and sew… then blog about it so others can learn as she learns. Her favorite quote is, “The greatest tragedy in life is when you give up what you want most for what you want now.” When she has time, she runs an Etsy shop and a personal blog to help others learn how to save.