Simple Tips for Lowering Your Utility Bills

Lowering Your Utility Bills

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Utility costs, like the electric bill, take up a big part of what we spend at home. The average electric bill for homes in the U.S. was $137 a month in 2022. That’s about $1,600 a year1. This article will give you easy ways to cut down on your energy use. By doing so, you can lower your utility costs and save money. Yet, you won’t have to give up your home’s comfort.

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Small changes to how you use energy in your home can lead to big savings. Adjusting your thermostat and updating old appliances are a good start. These easy steps will help reduce your utility bills. Plus, you’ll be doing your bit for the planet by being more energy-conscious.

Understand Your Energy Usage

First, know how much energy your home uses to reduce bills. An energy audit checks your home’s energy efficiency. It finds where you can make it better2. Making upgrades after an audit can cut your bills 5% to 30% every year, saving you lots of money3. Some electric companies want you to use power in low-demand times. They offer special rates if you have a smart system that controls when your home uses power3. Electric car owners like this because they charge up at night when rates are cheaper.

Do an Energy Audit

You can get a pro from the utility company to check your home or do it yourself with the U.S. Department of Energy’s tools4. The average utility bill is $117 monthly, adding up to $1,405 a year. So, getting an audit is a smart way to spot energy waste and find ways to be more efficient2. For example, turning off “vampire” appliances can cut your energy bill by $200.

2 Use cold water when washing clothes to save on the 18% of energy they use4. Pick Energy Star bulbs to save $55 for every bulb. And with LED lights, you could save $225 each year.

Heating and Cooling Adjustments

Making tweaks to how your home heats and cools can cut your utility costs. A simple way is by changing your thermostat settings5. In Virginia, 35% of energy goes to heating, while cooling only takes 9%5. Try adjusting the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees when you’re not home or sleeping. This could save you roughly 10% on your yearly energy bills6.

Adjust Your Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can handle these changes automatically. This means easy energy savings7. If you get a programmable thermostat, you could cut utility costs by up to 10% a year7. Keeping the thermostat at the right setting also boosts HVAC efficiency, lowering your energy use7.

Controlling the temperature is key to saving energy. A programmable thermostat helps you do this and cut utility costs6. Plus, sealing and insulating ducts can make your heating and cooling systems 20% more efficient, according to the EPA7.

Just by tweaking your thermostat and getting a programmable one, you’re on your way to big savings. This change can enhance your HVAC system’s performance and lessen your energy bills567.

Refrigerator and Freezer Maintenance

Keeping your fridge and freezer in good shape can make them run better. It will also lower your electric bill. First, make sure both sides of your fridge are at the right temp. The fridge should be set at 37°F and the freezer at 0°F8. This keeps your food cold enough without wasting energy9.

Don’t forget to clean the fridge coils often. If dust and dirt build up, your fridge can’t cool as well. This makes it use more energy and costs you more money10. Also, try to keep the fridge a little off the wall to help the air flow better10.

refrigerator efficiency

Check the seals on your fridge and freezer doors, too. Bad seals let cold air leak out, and your appliances have to work harder9. Keeping the seals clean and tight will help you save money on your electric bill.

Look for refrigerators that have an ENERGY STAR label when it’s time for a new one. These use about 9% less energy and can save you over $220 in 12 years8. For even more savings, search for the most efficient ENERGY STAR models8.

Just a little care for your fridge and freezer can make a big difference in how much energy they use. This will keep your electric bill down9. So, spend a bit of time looking after your appliances. It will save you money in the long run8910.

Water Heating Efficiency

Water heating is a big cost for many homes, making up about 18% of what you spend111213. To cut costs, use less hot water. Easy steps like shorter showers, a low-flow showerhead, and washing in cooler water can cut your bill by 4% to 22%11.

Reduce Hot Water Usage

To save on hot water and money, change your water heater’s temperature. Lower it from 140 to 120 degrees and save 7% to 16%12. Also, insulate your tank. This can lower heat loss by 25% to 45%, saving you more12.

Getting a new, energy-efficient water heater is another good move. It could cut your costs by 10% to 50%12. Think about tankless, solar, or heat pump heaters. They’re green picks and might get you tax breaks1213.

Don’t forget to address leaks and switch to low-flow items. Buying energy-star appliances helps too13. These steps let you manage your water heating better, bringing down your bills.

Lowering Your Utility Bills with Appliances

Your appliances have a big impact on your utility bills. You can save money by choosing wisely and using energy-saving habits. This means lower costs every month14.

First, pick energy-efficient appliances when you buy new ones. The ENERGY STAR label means the appliance saves a lot of energy. These models use 12% less power and 30% less water than others14. When you’re ready to upgrade, start with the appliances you use most, like your fridge or dishwasher14.

But there’s more you can do than just buy new. Use appliances wisely. Wait until your dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer is full before running them. And keep the fridge and oven doors closed. This avoids wasting energy15.

Don’t forget to keep your appliances in top shape. Simple cleanings and checks can make them use less energy. For instance, cleaning your fridge’s coils can cut down on power use16.

Choosing smart and using appliances well can cut your bills. It also helps our planet. A small change can make a big difference16.

Lighting and Electronics

Lighting is key in how much energy your home uses, making up 15% or more of your energy17. To cut down your bills, switch to LED lights. They use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than old incandescent bulbs17. By choosing LED, you could save about $225 each year18.

Switch to LED Bulbs

Using LED bulbs is a smart first step. But you can do more. Try dimmer switches and smart power strips to reduce energy waste. These cuts can lower your utility costs significantly.

Being smart about how we use lighting and electronics helps, too. Remember to turn off lights and unplug things not in use. This avoids extra costs on your bill. With these steps, you get the most from LED lights and save money on utilities171918.

Cooking Efficiently

How you cook affects your bills. Making some changes can cut down on energy use. Covering pans while cooking keeps heat in. This lowers how much work your air conditioner does.

Try to do heat-heavy tasks early or late in the day. This stops your home from getting too warm when it’s already hot outside20.

Use the microwave more often. It uses less energy20. Also, turn off stove burners a bit before food is done. The heat left will finish cooking your meal.

Picking the right pots and pans matters. Choose ones made of copper or aluminum. They need less heat to cook food well20. Also, match the pan’s size to the burner to save energy21.

Follow these tips to use less energy when you cook. You’ll see your bills go down. Even small changes can make a big difference over time202122.

Lowering Your Utility Bills with HVAC Maintenance

Making sure your HVAC system is well-maintained is key to saving energy. When you take care of it regularly, you use less energy. This means your bills could drop a lot23. Changing the air filter often makes your HVAC work better24.

Hiring a good HVAC repair company to check your system each year is smart. They can spot and fix small issues before they get big. This can save you money from avoiding big repairs and use less energy23. Also, regular care makes your HVAC last longer, saving you from buying a new one too soon23.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

Keeping your outdoor unit clean and out of direct sun helps a lot. Also, clean or change the filters to let air move freely. This keeps your system working well and your energy bills lower23. Making sure you have enough refrigerant is crucial. Otherwise, your system might use more energy23. By taking care of your system, you can avoid sudden breakdowns. This makes your system more reliable and avoids using too much energy in a hurry23.

Focusing on maintaining your HVAC can cut your energy costs. This way, you’ll not only save money, but your home will also be more comfortable24.

Insulation and Air Sealing

Good home insulation and sealing help lower your bills25. By trapping heat and cool air, they keep you comfortable and cut costs. Heating and cooling make up most of your home’s energy use25. A well-insulated home is more common in newer places thanks to better rules for building. However, many recent homes might still not have enough insulation25.

It’s key to make sure your attic, walls, and crawl spaces are insulated25. But it’s not just the attic that needs attention. The whole house needs the right insulation for energy savings25. The best type of insulation changes with where it’s going and if it’s easy to get to. Getting pros to install it helps prevent problems like moisture, bad air, and backdrafts in tight homes25.

home insulation

Sealing up air leaks is also critical for saving energy26. This means fixing drafts around windows, doors, and more. Doing this, plus adding insulation, can cut your bills by about 15%26. The amount you save, 5% to 20%, depends on your home’s setting and how it’s built26.

There are many programs to help your home be more efficient, like those from the Department of Energy and ENERGY STAR®25. These offer advice and support for better insulation and sealing. Also, low-income homeowners can get help from local offices for weatherizing their homes25.

Improving insulation and sealing can make your home more comfortable and cheaper to run26. It’s great to start these upgrades in the fall. This way, your home will be cozy and energy- smart for the winter27.

Renewable Energy Options

Using sources like solar panels can cut your power bills for years. Solar power lets you make your electricity. This might mean you don’t need to use as much from the grid28. Plus, some companies buy extra energy your solar panels make. This can drop your bills even more29. Looking into renewable options is a smart move to manage your energy use and costs.

If you’re thinking about solar panels, you’re on the right track28. For a 7,000-watt system, you might pay around $21,00028. Such a system can generate 20 to 35 kilowatt-hours a day. This depends on how sunny it is where you live28. Solar water heaters are also good. They can handle about half of a family’s hot water needs. Installing one typically costs between $5,000 and $7,00028.

Wind power is also a good choice for going green28. The price varies from $10,000 to $70,000. It depends on your area’s rules28. Geothermal heat pumps are very efficient. They are two to three times better than air heat pumps. And they save you enough money in energy to pay for themselves in 10 to 15 years28.

When picking a renewable, think about the initial cost and how much you’ll save over time. Also, look for incentives from local utilities or the government29. Choosing renewable energy means you’re in charge of your power bills. You also help the planet by using clean energy30.


By using a few simple tips, you can cut down on your electricity bill and save more money. Know how you use energy and adjust your heating, cooling, and appliances wisely. This way, you will not only save on costs but also use your energy better31.

Changing your light bulbs and setting your thermostat right are small steps that lower your bills. Do an energy check at home to find where you’re wasting energy. Also, look into using renewable energy to save even more3132.

Keep an eye on your energy use and keep improving to save more. With some dedication to saving money, your home will become more efficient and budget-friendly313233.,,

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