Your utility bill is one variable expense where you are able to cut back by controlling your actions.
Trent wrote about this first and it’s something we’ve been using as we lower out overall utility bill throughout the year to $200 or less on average.
Springtime Utilities Savings
Here are the 4 ways Trent recommended for energy savings in spring:
Turn off climate control and open the windows. If the outdoor temperature is anywhere between 50 F and 90 F, turn off the furnace and air conditioning and open the windows in your home. It will take a while for that outdoor air to really alter the temperature of your home, so your home temperature will stay fairly stable. You’ll just save because you won’t be running climate control.
Naturally, you should stop doing this if the climate in your home reaches an uncomfortable level, but as long as the temperature outside is pleasant, the temperature inside will be pleasant as well.
Set the ceiling fan to run in a counterclockwise direction. During warmer weather, you want your ceiling fans to blow air straight down, so you’ll want the blades to rotate in a counterclockwise direction when you’re looking up at the blades. Most ceiling fans have a switch on them that changes the direction. (Similarly, when the weather is cool, you want the blades turning clockwise.)
Doing this can keep you from turning on the air conditioning (or the furnace) when the weather is particularly warm (or cool). Just turn on your ceiling fans – which use relatively little energy – in the appropriate direction. If this little tip keeps you from closing the windows and turning on the climate control on an unusual spring day, then it saves you money.
Open the curtains and take advantage of both direct and indirect natural lighting. The light streaming in through your windows allows you to get away with turning on fewer lights in your house, saving a surprising amount of energy.
Of course, direct sunlight has a heating effect as well. Try to avoid direct sunlight when the weather is really warm and the house is getting warm, but when it’s still cool, you should welcome that direct sunlight. It’s not only great for lighting up the room, it can also reduce the costs of heating.
Do laundry and dishes late in the evening. Household tasks that produce heat make sense during the day in the winter where the extra heat will help warm up your house and make your furnace work a little bit less. In the spring, that situation changes – it’s cold in the evening but warm during the day.
We’ve currently turned off climate control both at home and at work since the weather is in the 70s and beautiful right now. Eventually it will shoot up and the air conditioning will have to come on, but for now we are taking advantage of spring to save a bit on utilities.
I’d never thought about doing laundry and dishes later because they produce more heat than other household tasks. That makes sense though and I really think I will start implementing this one at home.
More Ways To Save On Utilities During The Spring
There are many more ways to save on utilities during the spring season. Other thoughts I had about saving on utilities during this season:
- Utilize longer days for light. Since the light lasts longer these days it’s easier to avoid turning on lights until a few hours later than normal. Simply open the blinds or curtains until the sun goes down and utilize that light rather than turning on all the lights in the house.
- Invest in energy-efficient light bulbs. Once the sun goes down and you need light you can make sure to save by using more efficient lightbulbs. LED lights, for example, cost more upfront but are more efficient and last longer.
- Spring clean your lights! Wiping light bulbs and fixtures clean helps save energy. Since dust and grease can build up and reduce the brightness, you have to turn on more to get the amount of light necessary. Clean them all off and you may find you need less lights on.
- Shut the drapes when you’re gone. Shut all the drapes or blinds on your windows during the hottest time of the day while you are gone. This will stop your house from getting too warm while you are away at work.
- Eliminate energy phantoms. Some appliances continue to pull a small bit of power even when switched off. Turn off and unplug all appliances that use electricity when they are not in use like computer, televisions, and kitchen appliances.
Those are a few of the ways we plan to save money on our energy bill this spring. We are looking forward to a smaller bill at home for sure and I think it will help at work as well even though it is a different circumstances.
So far these spring time savings techniques have worked! Our utility bill for the first months of spring has been lower than past years.
This is an issue I continue to think about and care about. I’ve researched a few more ways to save.
Ways to Save Money On Your Heating Bill
If you live in an area where it’s still cold or potentially snowing during the spring, then the tips that work for me in a warmer area wouldn’t help you. Here are a few tips you might want to try during a colder spring.
Properly Insulate Your House
My last apartment was a drafty duplex that literally had holes in the floor leading to the crawlspace. It’s no wonder the place had high heating bills – insulation was not part of the house! Any house without proper insulation will be harder to heat leading to higher heat bills during winter.
To save money you need to properly insulate your house. This will be a large upfront cost depending on the size of your house and current state of insulation, but it will save you a ton of money on heating bills in the long run.
Stop Leaks Around Doors and Windows
Beyond standard insulation in your house, doors and windows can lead to heat loss because of tiny leaks. You can eliminate this waste that causes high heating bills by winterizing windows and preventing air leaks at doors.
To fix the problem with your windows, you can purchase window winterizing kits online or at stores like Walmart. You can also go further and use caulk to eliminate any gaps by the windows.
To fix the problem with your doors, you should buy mats that will sit at the bottom of the door to prevent cold air from leaking in. There are additional steps you can take like placing clear tape or plastic around the doors.
Turn It Off When You Aren’t Home
Coming home to a chilly home can be saddening but turning the heat off while you are away is a great way to save on your bills. You can either turn it completely off or just down by 10 to 20 degrees while you are away to save money. I always do this now and turn the thermostat down as I’m leaving the house. I’d much rather save money and deal with a bit of chill when I first get home.
Wear Extra Layers and Use Blankets
The simplest way to save money on your heat bill during the winter is too take matters into your own hands. Leave the thermostat on a lower temperature to save money and wear multiple layers of clothing and cuddle up with blankets. Sure it’s not perfect and you might not love it, but you’ll appreciate skipping those $500 bills each month.
Use A Space Heater
Before I thought about saving money on heating, I heated my whole apartment just to heat one room. I spent all of my time in one room yet I heated the whole place just to stay warm. Doing this is inefficient and leads to high utility bills during the winter months.
Instead of this inefficient system you can use a space heater to heat the rooms that you use. You can leave the heat off or low for the rest of the house and then more cheaply heat the rooms you use (mainly your bedroom) with a space heater. The newer space heaters are safer and have precautions to shut down if they overheat or tip over. You can be safe and save on your bills!
Combine These Tips!
Using all these tips together will help drastically lower your heating bill during the winter. The best way to save money is to combine tips like properly insulating the house, lowering the temp and wearing extra layers, and only heating rooms you need. Mix and match for the savings that fit your lifestyle!
Personally I plan to use a few of these tips this winter with my new roommate so we can both save money. That’s the plan at least!
Lower Your Next Bill Using Energy Comparison Sites
In these challenging and cash strapped times, many people are looking to see how they can save money by reviewing the deals they have on everything from telephone and broadband packages to home insurance.
Changing energy providers via energy comparison sites has the potential for making significant savings, with research indicating that a collective $3.5 billion has been wasted by consumers through not switching to better deals.
There may be various reasons why consumers are apathetic about changing. Tenants that have moved into a new home may be reluctant to change providers. Those receiving separate gas and electricity services may have once been better off, but duel fuel discounts now mean that it is usually cheaper to go with the same provider for both utilities.
Energy comparison sites make the process of switching suppliers simple, with an easy to follow online application and your new provider taking care of all the paperwork for you. They will inform your old provider of the switch and there will be no interruption in services while the changeover takes place. All you need to do on the day you switch is take a meter reading.
Ways to make further savings include paying by direct debit and taking advantage of any discounts you are entitled to. There are also simple measures you can take to lower your energy consumption, and therefore your bills, such as washing clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees, turning off all appliances at the socket and installing energy efficient light bulbs. These measures could collectively save you $77 a year.
If you want to go further on reducing your energy consumption, it may be worth considering measures such as double glazing and loft and cavity wall insulation. Simply draught proofing doors and windows could save you $20 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Overall using less energy saves you money and is better for the planet. Why would anyone not want to do it?!
How will you save energy this spring? Have any more tips?