When you buy a new home, you may not always know the cost of utilities. Most likely, a real estate agent can help you obtain utility history, but the best way to save on utilities is to take steps to conserve. Saving energy is more than just a means of conserving the environment – it can also save you a lot of money on utility costs! Here are 16 ways that you can budget for and save on utilities in your new home.
1) Wash laundry in cold water.
Washing your laundry in cold water can save you money because you won’t have to use the electricity or natural gas to warm water. As an added bonus, your clothes are less likely to bleed. There are also detergents intended for cold water washes too!
Did you know that most heat escapes through the attic? That’s why you need to ensure that your attic space is well insulated. Adding energy-efficient insulation is affordable and you can recoup the cost in energy savings relatively quickly. Another area you can insulate is the water heater. Adding a hot water heater jacket can reduce heat loss by up to 45%.
Did your home inspection reveal some drafty areas? Do you feel a cold wind while in the living room? You can add weather stripping to seal doors and windows, and keep outdoor air outside. Weather stripping also prevents the warm or cool weather from escaping. Don’t forget to seal areas in and around outlets and light switches as well.
4) Try out oven alternatives.
Using a slow cooker, or Crock Pot, uses less energy than an oven. If you plan ahead, slow cooker meals are also a great way to save time. Using a toaster oven and microwave also uses less energy than an oven.
5) Use the heat as needed.
Turn off your thermostat while you are away or the weather is warm. There’s no need to heat an empty house – especially if the temperature is above freezing.
6) Add a programmable thermostat.
You don’t necessarily need a fancy WiFi-enabled thermostat, but a simple programmable thermostat can help to control your home’s temperature while you are home, while you are away and at night.
7) Go low-flow.
The standard showerhead uses between four and five gallons of water every minute. You can save a lot of money on electricity, natural gas and water costs by switching to a low-flow shower head. The low-flow shower head use only 1.5 gallons per minute with the same pressure.
8) Dishwasher efficiency.
Avoid washing dishes on a half load or top load only. Pack the dishwasher and choose the air dry option, rather than heat dry. You can also save by hand washing rather than using the dishwasher when you have only a few dishes.
9) Use an irrigation meter.
If you have a sprinkler system, an irrigation meter can save you money. The cost to irrigate your lawn is cheaper than water that goes down the drain into the sewer system.
10) Switch to energy-efficient lighting.
Switching to LED and CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) can last years – you heard that right. They also use much less power than filament lightbulbs.
11) Reduce your water heater temperature.
You will want to avoid having a hot water heater temperature that is too high to prevent scalding. You can also save on energy costs by reducing your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less.
12) Be an energy star.
Energy Star appliances use significantly less energy than non-rated or older models. Compare your energy cost savings versus the cost of the appliance. Almost always, you will find a return on investment.
13) Try permanent AC or furnace filters.
Too often, homeowners wait to change the filter in their HVAC unit. Failing to do so can increase your utility costs. A permanent filter costs more initially, but will save you money long-term.
14) Paint your roof white.
It may not be aesthetically pleasing to you, but it will be pleasing to your wallet. Painting your roof with a white coating can reduce energy costs compared to black roofs.
15) Turn off electronics at night.
You don’t need a clock in your sleep. Okay, well maybe you need an alarm clock, but there are a lot of electronics you don’t need. Unplug any electronic you can while it is not in use to save on your electricity bill.
16) Reconcile your bill.
Mistakes do happen – especially if you still have a manual meter process. Make it a habit to regularly compare your meter with your bill to ensure accuracy in billing.
Thanks for reading our utility saving tips. We hope that this list will help you to save money on utilities in your new home.