A cheap utility bill is the holy grail of home ownership. With cheaper bills comes higher savings, giving you more financial leg room to spend on the house. Thankfully, there are many small changes you can make to lower utility costs and usage, and they don’t need to have a negative impact on your lifestyle.
Compare energy plans
You’ve heard this one before, but have you acted on it? It’s easy to get complacent with your current plan and provider, but keep researching using the many free tools available online. You may well find that your current agreement is outdated and another plan is far better suited to your needs.
Dress for the weather
Heating and cooling is a heavy hitter when it comes to your energy bill, so anything that cuts down on your usage will net some impressive savings. One of the easiest ways to avoid reaching for the thermostat is choosing appropriate outfits: if it’s cold in the house and you’re in a T-shirt and shorts, avoid the temptation of using the heating and go for a jumper and pants instead.
Keep an eye on the forecast
Be smart about how you control the temperature inside your home. If the weather forecast is telling you it’s going to be a scorcher tomorrow, be ready for it: trap cool air inside the night before by shutting blinds and curtains that will face the sun. This will help you avoid the need to switch the air conditioner on to full blast.
If the house has already warmed up and you have the air conditioning on, be ready to turn it off when the cool change comes. You can then open your windows and let the cooler outdoor air flow through and push the heat out of the home.
Be efficient with the washing machine
If you’re about to use the washing machine but don’t have a full load, ask your partner, family or housemates if they have any other clothing to add. Otherwise, consider holding off on the washing until someone else is ready to combine and get it all done in a single cycle. You can even consider washing in cold water setting on express cycle.
Air dry your clothing
Clothes dryers are useful, but they sure do churn through electricity. When you aren’t in a hurry to get your work shirt dry on a Monday morning, hang everything outside or on an indoor clotheshorse and let them air dry.
Switch off appliances
Even if they aren’t being used, home appliances are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to your electricity bill. Consider installing timer switches that cut off power over set periods, such as while you’re at work or if the appliance hasn’t been used within a certain time limit. Otherwise, keep phone charges unplugged until you need to use them.
Make sure your fridge is sealed
Your fridge needs to be on at all times, but it maintains its temperature far more efficiently when sealed. Avoid opening it frequently or for extended periods, and check the seal itself for any cracks or gaps that cold air can escape through.