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3 Ways You May Be Wasting Money on Utility Bills

Shocked by your electric bill? Whining about the water bill? Changing your habits may help you lower those costs. In fact, once you implement a few changes to your utility usage; you may be surprised how much you’ve been wasting. Check out these surprising factors that may be contributing to your high utility bills and learn what to do to reduce your costs each month.

washing machine save on utility bills

Image via Flickr by Bark

You’re Washing Your Clothes in Hot Water

It may shock you to learn that heating the water to wash your clothes accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your washing machine uses. Washing with cold water gets your clothes just as clean while allowing you to save significantly in energy costs each year.

Most laundry detergents today have been adapted to this washing method by making the enzymes more effective in cold water. You can also consider replacing your old agitator washing machine with a front-loading or high-efficiency top-loading washing machine, both of which run normal wash cycles that are about 10 percent cooler. Running full loads and hanging your clothes to dry are additional options for cutting your energy use while doing your laundry.

You’re Not Using the Right Thermostat

If your costs for heating or cooling are through the roof; it may be due to the type of thermostat you currently use. One of the best ways to reduce utility costs it to get a programmable thermostat. You’ll want to carefully create settings based on what you’re doing during the day. For example, you can set your temperature to 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re awake at home; then let it drop down by a few degrees while you’re asleep. Don’t forget to also allow the temperature to drop a bit while you’re at work.

A few degrees here and there may not seem like it makes much of a difference, but you can save significantly by setting your thermostat; to regulate the temperature in your home. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can actually help you save up to $180 on your energy costs each year.

Your Water Heater Temperature is Too High

Homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about their water heater. But one of the easiest ways to continually save money on your utility bills is to lower the temperature on this appliance. Many water heaters are automatically set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can actually lower the temperature to 120 degrees without noticing much of a difference.

When the temperature is set lower; you’ll reduce the amount of heat lost to your surrounding basement area as well as your water consumption. A water heater temp of 140 degrees can actually result in up to $61 in heat loss and $400 in additional consumption each year. Therefore, turning your water heater down to 120 degrees results in reduced costs for both your energy bills and your water bills.

Make your home more efficient with these simple changes. In addition to doing something positive for the environment, you’ll enjoy reduced utility expenses month after month.

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13 Comments

  • Melina

    This is a great post. I would have never thought of some of these things, and while I still live with my parents and they pay those bills, this is something I have to be conscious of when I move out on my own xxx

    Melina | melinaelisa.com

    March 28, 2018 at 9:32 am Reply
  • pinkoddy

    Great post.I have to admit washing we spend far too much. I accidentally did a quicker cycle today and thought you know what our clothes aren’t “dirty” so actually this shorter wash is probably plenty
    pinkoddy recently posted…Considering Home EducationMy Profile

    March 28, 2018 at 4:56 pm Reply
  • Sarah Bailey

    These are some great tips, I have to admit when we changed to a smart thermostat we really noticed a difference in the amount we were paying on our bills! It really surprised me.
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Sleep Comfortably with Sleep OriginsMy Profile

    March 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm Reply
  • Kate Andrews

    Thanks for these tips! I will have to put them to good use. Looking forward to seeing the savings.

    March 28, 2018 at 10:07 pm Reply
  • Sheena Tatum

    I don’t do any of these. That is a big blessing though, because I never checked any of these until now!

    March 29, 2018 at 1:03 am Reply
  • What Corinne Did

    OMG! This post is perfect! I have been having so many issues with bills lately! Like gas bill being so high! Maybe the heater is the issue! I need to have someone look into it asap!

    March 29, 2018 at 4:23 am Reply
  • Terri Beavers

    I keep asking my landlord to turn my water heater up. It’s too low. I’m wondering now if I should just keep it low. If it will help with my utility bill, I’d say so.

    March 29, 2018 at 7:43 am Reply
  • Kelli A

    We were checking our appliances on our electric meter one day. One by one we shut each one off and back on to see which item was using the most electric. The whole time it was going about 10beeps a second.. when we got to the hot water tank, and shut it off it almost stopped and went from like 10beeps a second to about 1 beep every 3-5 seconds.. It was insane the difference from one item.

    March 29, 2018 at 1:19 pm Reply
    • admin

      That’s a good experiment, now you should know which appliance is using up most of the electricity.

      March 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm Reply
  • Alison Rost

    This is all accurate. You have to make sure that you’re checking everything at home because there are many ways that you could be saving energy. I think every home owner should check these!

    March 29, 2018 at 9:37 pm Reply
  • Maria Magdalena

    You right about the water heater. Here in the tropical country, we can have warm water because of the sun.

    March 30, 2018 at 9:47 am Reply
  • BoredMom

    I have just recently changed from hot to warm water, and I’m still here! I really had my reservations, but everything seems to be coming out the same!

    March 30, 2018 at 1:32 pm Reply
  • Mommy Rockin' In Style

    These are very helpful. I should go and check our appliances especially our water heater. Thanks for sharing!
    Mommy Rockin’ In Style recently posted…Ten Perfect Gifts for Mother’s DayMy Profile

    March 31, 2018 at 1:05 pm Reply
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