Utility bills tend to fall into the “that’s just the way it is” category, but there are actually quite a few things that we can do to lower them — and many of those things are shockingly easy. Here are six simple ways that you can lower your energy bills right now. (And, yes, we can help with most of them.)
1. LET YOUR THERMOSTAT LIVE UP TO ITS POTENTIAL (OR GET A NEW ONE)
Adjust your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees while you’re asleep or on vacation — raise the temp in summer to keep your A/C from constantly kicking on and lower it in the winter for the same result with your heat. This can actually save you around 10 percent each year. If you’re not the kind of person who remembers to check the thermostat a couple of times a day, talk to us about installing a smart thermostat, which will make these adjustments for you.
2. WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER
When you have pets or little kids, it’s really easy to err on the side of scalding hot water for every load of laundry. But according to Smithsonian.com, heating water accounts for 75 percent of the energy used to do laundry. While hot water is best for loads that require sanitizing (think cloth diapers) and it’s true that powder detergent works better with warm water, most modern, liquid soaps work just fine with cold water — and most loads of laundry really don’t need to be sanitized. Regularly opting for the cold setting can save you more than $200 each year.
3. UPGRADE TO AN ENERGY STAR-CERTIFIED WATER HEATER
It could save you more than $3,000 over its lifespan. Wolcott’s plumbing pros can get you all set up.
4. CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER EVERY THREE MONTHS
Swapping a dirty, old filter for a new one can save up to 15 percent in energy costs. If you’re comfortable DIYing this one, that’s awesome. If not, we’re always happy to help. In fact, we often offer seasonal specials on heating & cooling tune-ups, which include a filter change.
5. INSTALL LED BULBS
LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last way longer than incandescent bulbs, saving you huge amounts of money in the long run.
6. FIX THAT LEAKING FAUCET
Okay, we did the math and since water’s not the priciest of commodities (money-wise, anyway), fixing your leaky faucet might save you like $12 over the course of a year. However, it’ll also save you 1,800 gallons of clean water in a year. And that’s just for one faucet that drips once every second. In older homes with a bunch of fixtures, there’s a pretty good chance that more than one of them leaks — maybe even at a higher rate. If that’s the case, those cumulative droplets could end up costing a lot more. Have a faucet that needs fixin’? We know a guy.