Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saving on Utility Bills

Here's a few ideas for cutting back on those ever-increasing utility bills:

1. Open your windows (including the shades) during the day and let the natural light light your home (and maybe give the windows a good shine first)

2. Use energy saver bulbs. Look for big packs on sale at Sam's Club/Costco. On lights that use multiple bulbs (i.e. fans, bathroom) use the minimum amount of bulbs needed. I find one bulb is sufficient enough to light our bathrooms and most the fans (especially when the blinds are up). I even took some of the long, flourescent bulbs out of the lights in the basement.
3. Run your dishwasher while you do your nightly activities (make sure it's full) without the heat drying option then pull out the racks and let the dishes air dry overnight.
4. Turn off the shower water while lathering shampoo and soap (same with hand-washing in sinks). I admit I don't do this in the winter, too cold without the water.
5. Instead of filling up a dirty pot with water to soak, just stick it in the sink and let it catch the run-off from other things you're rinsing and from hand-washing.

6. I keep some large buckets out by my garden to catch water when it rains and use the water for the garden (of course it rains quite a bit here and the weather's agreeable enough for a garden).
7. Turn off lights you don't need. I'm the light nazi and get on my kids about turing off the light in the bathroom and playroom and hall when they're not there. During the day I pull the light cord on the fan so the kids can't turn on the playroom light because the sunlight through the window gives the room plenty of light. In fact during the day, we really don't use any lights.

8. Unplug toasters and other appliances when not in use.
9. My mom used to airdry our jeans on the chairs out on the patio. Toss them in the dryer at the end of a load to get rid of the stiffness. I live in Georgia where it rains frequently and it's humid, so this method doesn't work for me.
10. Run full loads in your washers. With little kids around, it doens't lake long to fill these.
What do you do to conserve and save on your utility bills?


shayla said...

I'm also a light nazi and prefer natural light through open windows. However, during Vegas summer months, I always wonder if I can save more on cooling the house by leaving windows and doors closed and using electricity for light. Who knows. Do you?

a couple other tips:

-close the vents in rooms you don't use very often and concentrate the air conditioner on cooling high-traffic areas instead.

-if you're going to leave your house for a prolonged period of time, adjust your thermostat to save on heating and cooling.