5 Ways to Save On Bills This Winter
Whether we like it or not, winter is coming. And while winter means good food, great shopping deals, and time with family, it also means cold weather and snow, and that means a hike in your bills. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling our homes accounts for almost half of our utility bills in a year, even more when you factor in the cost of heating water for your home. That makes heating and cooling the biggest expense in our home, putting strain on household budgets every winter. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 ways to save on bills this winter.
1. Tame Your Thermostat
There’s a reason more and more people are switching over to programmable thermostats and that’s because scheduling your heater on and off can save you a lot of money. If you’re not ready to take the plunge into a “smart” thermostat, you can still save money by actively remembering to turn your thermostat down 10º before you leave for work. Most people are out of the house for over 8 hours a day at work. Turning your thermostat down before you leave can save you roughly 10% on your heating bills.
And if you are ready to take the plunge into a programmable thermostat, take a look at our Honeywell TH6110D1005 FocusPRO 6000 Programmable Digital Thermostat and control your heat and A/C with your smartphone!
2. Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
Like a good jacket, a well-insulated house is key to keeping warm during the cold months. The Department of Energy has an insulation calculator that can tell you how to insulate your home via your zip code. While it will cost you to bring your insulation up to code, you’ll save anywhere from 20% to 30% on your heating bills and those savings will repeat themselves for years to come.
3. Dial Back on Hot Water
While you can save on your water bill by using less water, you save even more money but turning down the thermostat on your water heater. Most manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140ºF while households can easily get by with 120ºF. In fact, 140ºF temperatures can put your family at risk for scalding. Additionally, a lower temperature on your water heater helps to prevent corrosion and mineral build-up. This won’t cost you a dime to do, and it will save you a couple bucks every month, and may help prolong the life of your water heater!
You can find steps on how to dial back your hot water here.
4. No More Leaky Faucets!
It’s easy to ignore a leaky faucet and tell yourself you’ll fix it “one day.” But every time you put off fixing that faucet, you’re throwing money down the drain. The Department of Energy says that a “leak of one drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water” over the course of a year. That hot water waste will cost you $35 or more a year!
If you need a new faucet to replace that leaky one, make sure to check out all of Plumbing Planet’s beautiful faucets.
5. It’s All About Timing
New homeowners may not know it, but most energy companies have peak and off-peak hours. That means that you’re paying less or more for your energy usage depending on when you use it. General off-peak hours in the United States are 9pm – 7am during the week and all days on weekends, but you should check with your energy company to be sure! In some cases, you could end up paying close to 40% less for energy during these times.
So how do you utilize these savings? Make sure you wait to do all your heavy-energy chores until 9pm. That may seem like a hassle from people who work all day and want to get stuff done when they’re home, but it can be easier than you think. Load your dishwasher up throughout the day, but wait to run it. Similarly, get all your laundry sorted and readied to go for 9pm and do a load or two before bed. Or, make laundry a weekend-only chore, where your off-peak hours apply all day long.
What do you think? Have you already been saving money on your bills with some of these tips? Do you have a money-saving tip to recommend? Let us know!