Saving Money around the Home
- There are lots of simple things you can do to save money on
your utility bills, such as buying energy-efficient appliances,
lighting rooms wisely, and caulking and installing weatherstripping
around doors and windows to seal air leaks.
- Set your thermostat between 68 and 70 degrees (or less if possible)
in winter, and your air conditioner between 78 and 80 degrees
in summer. If you don't have central air, make sure your unit's
the right size (BTU capacity) for the area being cooled.
- Install a ceiling fan - not only is a ceiling fan much less
expensive than a central air conditioning system, it uses around
95% less energy but still circulates cool air efficiently, so
you enjoy continual comfort and savings.
- Shade your air conditioner - an air conditioner that sits in
the sun costs more to run than one that rests in the shade. Plant
a shrub or small tree next to an existing unit or install a new
one on the north side of your home.
- Tune-up your furnace - by cleaning or replacing your furnace
filter often (monthly if possible) -- and by having a professional
check the unit once a year -- you can save as much as 10% on your
- Keep your refrigerator efficient - your refrigerator uses more
energy than any other appliance in your home. By cleaning the
door seals and vacuuming the coils periodically you can keep it
- Fill your freezer - your freezer is more efficient when completely
filled. So when there aren't a lot of leftovers to freeze, use
plastic milk jugs filled with water to help keep it cold.
- Always rinse cold - your rinse cycle temperature doesn't affect
how clean your clothes get, but heating the rinse water can affect
your utility bill. By always rinsing in cold water, you save more
than a few cents on each load of laundry.
- Save water in the shower - by installing a water-saving showerhead
(they cost as little as $5 to $10), it's estimated that you can
save up to 10,000 gallons of water each year.
- Turn down your water heater - while many water heaters are set
at 140 degrees, they can be turned down to 130 or even 120 degrees
without reducing their ability to kill bacteria. This will cut
down the amount of energy needed to heat your water by anywhere
from 6 to 12%.