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.
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.