Paying down debt or planning for a comfortable future for your family isn’t unrealistic. Cutting cost doesn’t have to be a daunting task. For example, with some lifestyle changes and initial investments, you can cut your monthly energy expenses and pay down your debts with the money that you save.
The amount of energy we use in our home depends on the climate and the type of electronics and appliances used. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut your monthly energy use. Try these four ways to decrease energy use in your home.
Reduce Hot Water Consumption
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We all enjoy taking hot showers because it’s relaxing. The bad news is that heating up that water requires energy. In fact, this accounts for about 12 percent of your total monthly utility expenses. There are no-cost and low-cost things you can do to lower your energy use for hot water. First, take shorter showers. Long, hot showers eat up a large chunk of your energy costs. “It’s too cold” isn’t an excuse. Keep the door closed so that the steam stays inside the bathroom, but make sure you turn on the fan to take care of the steam and excess moisture.
Second, fix leaky faucets. One drip per second wastes 3,000 gallons of water per year. That’s an extra $100 per year. Finally, lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will save you anywhere from 3 percent to 5 percent on your water heating bill.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
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When correctly used, energy-efficient appliances consume less energy. For example, you probably think that washing your dishes by hand saves hot water. But it’s actually more expensive. Invest in an energy-efficient dishwasher to save about $40 per year. Make sure you’re operating the dishwasher at full capacity. Loading a few dishes here and there is wasteful. Also, invest in energy-efficient clothes washers. Reduce your energy cost when washing clothes by using either cold or warm water for most of your loads.
Finally, get familiar with your electric company’s peak and off-peak hours. Run your appliances during off-peak hours. This is a great way to cut energy costs.
Manage Indoor Temperatures
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Your heating and cooling practices can be costing you money. For example, if you never use the living room or that third bedroom, then consider cutting off the heat or cooling system for those areas. Consider zoned HVAC systems that regulate and direct air to specific areas of the house. You can then control how much of the home you want to heat or cool and save money. Call an HVAC professional to discuss service needs.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
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Yes, energy-efficient light bulbs are more expensive than traditional bulbs. But they use two-thirds less energy and last 10 times longer. So in the long run, they save you more money.
Cutting your energy cost is all up to you. Take these steps to help save money for your family.