How to Lower Your Utility Bills

Different utility bills spread across table while person with calculator figures the cost.With many Americans feeling the effects of high inflation, there’s no doubt that families across the nation are looking for ways to save money where they can. A common spending area they look at? Home utilities. Especially here in New England where the cold and dark winter season demands we turn up the thermostats and use more lighting, homeowners see those increases reflected in their monthly bills. Luckily, there are ways to cut back on energy usage, and therefore, costs. Let’s review ways you can lower your utility bills.

Eliminate Drafts 

This is a big one for New Englanders; it’s an easy fix, and there are a number of ways to go about it.  

  1. For a quick fix, roll up bath towels and place them under drafty windows and doors. Otherwise, buy inexpensive draft blockers which slide under the bottom of doors and windows and are fit to their width. 
  2. Line your windows and doors with weather stripping to ensure the contact between frames and fittings is airtight. 
  3. Be sure to check for cracks and holes around the house through which heat (or AC) escapes. A tube of caulk or silicone should do the trick.
  4. Use plastic to cover windows and doors that go unused in the winter. This is also inexpensive, and we especially recommend it if you live in an older home.

Monitor the Thermostat 

Turning the thermostat down by 7° to 10° F when you’re out for the day or even overnight when you’re cozy under the comforter can save significant money. You might consider installing a programmable thermostat so you can pre-set the times your heating or air-conditioning kicks on according to your schedule. You should also be scheduling maintenance for your furnace to ensure it’s running properly and at maximum efficiency. 

Replace Old Appliances 

Swapping old appliances for new ones is an investment. But, increasing appliance efficiency standards can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year. For example, new washing machines that have the Energy Star label use 25% less energy and up to 75% less water than machines did just 20 years ago, according to Consumer Reports. Not only does this save money over time with reduced energy bills, but many products are eligible for money-back rebates through the US government’s Energy Star program. 

Other Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills 

We could go on, sharing several ways to trim your home’s energy costs. But here’s a quick list of final ideas to implement: 

  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs, like compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs. 
  • Bundle up in the winter with warm sweaters, cozy blankets, and fuzzy socks rather than just turning the heat up. 
  • Dress in loose, airy clothing to stay comfortable in the summer rather than cranking the AC. You should also be running a dehumidifier during the summer to dry out the air in your home. 
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. It’s common sense, but an easy-to-overlook energy suck. 
  • Insulate your attic and pipes (if you haven’t already) to cut back on heating and cooling costs, as well as hot water costs.  
  • Use space heaters sparingly. Not only are they a fire hazard, but they’re a major energy consumer, too. 

Each of these cost-saving measures might not seem like much individually, but when taken all together, the savings add up. For more ways to save, visit the Department of Energy’s website. 

Not only do these tips help reduce your energy usage and thereby lower your utility bills, but they’re also good habits to adopt in the quest to be more environmentally friendly. Plus, did you know some insurance providers even offer premium discounts for homes that “go green” and fall under certain efficiency quotas? To find out if your homeowners insurance policy may be eligible for a discount, contact us today for more information and to discuss your options.