How to Save Money on Utility Bills

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Maybe you remember your parents yelling, "Turn off the lights." Now that you pay your own utility bills, you understand. This old-time advice our parents lived by and the modern trend of living green fit together nicely. Embrace them to save money on your monthly utility bills.

Things You'll Need

  • Energy-efficient bulbs
  • DIY home maintenance material
  • Radiant barrier (optional)
  • Replace your light bulbs with bulbs labeled Energy Star. This lighting uses 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs and lasts up to 10 times longer.

  • Save money on utility bills by turning the TV off when you aren't watching it and powering down computers and monitors when not in use. Both of these are energy-hungry electronics and the minutes -- and dollars -- add up.

  • Install a programmable thermostat if you have trouble remembering to reduce the heating and cooling when you go to bed. After a few months, you will have paid for the thermostat, and you'll see savings month after month.

  • Close off the vents in unused rooms. Heating and cooling them just costs you money.

  • Adjust to a somewhat higher temperature in the summer and a somewhat lower one in the winter, even during the day and set your thermostat accordingly. Just a few degrees make a difference. Put on a sweater and some socks and have a cup of hot tea in the winter; make it iced tea in the summer.

  • Save all your baking for the wintertime. Enjoy salads, sandwiches and microwave dishes during the warm months.

  • Install radiant barrier as an economical way to reduce heating and cooling costs. This reflective material is generally used in an attic over insulation or under the roof. Some homeowners and renters use radiant barrier on unused windows to save additional money on utility bills.

  • Check how much energy your freezer and refrigerator are using at energystar.gov and determine if replacing them with newer models will save you money. As a guideline, Energy Star standards and practices have changed significantly since 2001 with at least a 40 percent savings since that time.

  • Fix or replace any poorly sealed areas around windows, major appliances and doors for a decrease in utility bills. Most DIY repairs of this type are simple and inexpensive.

  • Take short showers instead of baths. If you don't believe it makes a difference, put the plug in the bathtub when you take a shower and check the water level. It'll be lower than you expect. Replace the shower nozzle for additional energy savings.

  • Clean or change air filters once a month to reduce energy costs and keep your environment cleaner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean or change air filters at least once a month to reduce energy costs and keep your environment cleaner.
  • Save money on utility bills by turning off TVs and computer monitors when not in use. Both of these are energy-hungry electronics and the minutes add up.

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