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5 Things You Can Do Around the House to Save Money
You’re already cutting back and making changes to reduce your expenses. You may have switched to store brands for savings at the grocery store, and maybe you even switched to a carpooling routine for savings at the gas pump.
But, did you know that you could be saving even more by adopting some changes around the house? With a few adjustments to habits and products around the house, your family can save even more money each month without sacrificing comfort or quality of life.
As an added bonus, all of these adjustments will not only help reduce your bills, they will also help reduce your carbon footprint! You can’t beat that!
1. Turn off your lights and appliances when you leave the room.
This is a small habit change that can lead to big savings. Though it may seem inconsequential to leave your television or lights on in your bedroom when go downstairs to eat dinner, doing so all around the house could increase your energy bill substantially.
Appliances plugged into the wall, such as computers, are also easy to forget, but leaving these things on and idle can add to your monthly energy bill. To lower your costs, make it a habit to never leave the lights on in an empty room and to make sure that all computers and televisions are off before you leave the house for the day.
2. Hold off laundry day until you have a full load.
You may be tempted to wash your favorite t-shirt the moment it gets a ketchup stain, but refrain from tossing it into the washer all by its lonesome. Instead, hand wash the item.
Washing machines and dryers use an enormous amount of water and energy, so to optimize the use of those machines, wait until you have a full load of laundry to wash. This way, you will at least be using that energy and water to wash and dry an entire pile of clothing rather than just one item. It is also recommended to pay attention to load size and dryer heat settings to match your laundry’s needs so that you do not end up unnecessarily increasing your energy and water bills.
3. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) bulbs.
The initial cost of purchasing a CFL bulb is much greater than the cost of purchasing a regular incandescent light bulb. However, CFL bulbs have a greater light output while using less energy as well as a longer lifespan than regular light bulbs. This means that not only could you get 60 watts of light while using only 20 watts of power using a CFL bulb, but you also will have that bulb for approximately 15 times longer than a regular bulb. All in all, the savings you incur from using CFLs more than makes up for their higher initial cost. Couple these savings with the habit of turning off the lights every time you leave a room and your energy bill will shrink before your eyes.
4. Switch to low-flow faucets.
Just as is the case with CFL bulbs, the initial cost of low-flow faucets is much higher than the cost of just leaving the ones you already have in place. However, the savings you incur from your reduced water bill means that your new faucets will eventually pay for themselves. These faucets work by reducing the amount of water coming out while still maintaining a satisfactory amount of water pressure with less water waste. Chances are that once you install the faucets, you will not even notice a difference until your much smaller water bill arrives.
5. Turn up the thermostat in the summer when you leave and only put it where you need it to be when you return.
For whatever reason, the popular belief is that you should leave your air conditioner humming along even when nobody is inside to enjoy that climate because it wastes more energy to return a home to optimal temperatures than it does to just keep it frosty all day long.
However, this is simply not true. Hike up your thermostat to something balmier while you’re gone to give your air conditioner a break, such as setting it at 78 or 80 degrees rather than leaving it blowing away at 70 degrees. The fact of the matter is that having your air conditioner on all day wastes far more energy than just turning it on when you get home.
In addition, do not be tempted to set your thermostat at an absurdly low temperature if you are feeling overheated. This will not make your air conditioner cool down your home faster. The truth is that your air conditioner will cool your home at exactly the same rate whether you set it at 63 degrees or 73 degrees. Save yourself the trouble of turning your home into an ice box by just setting the air conditioner to your actual desired temperature the first time around.
How about you all? What techniques do you use to save money around the house? Have you used any of the ones in the list above?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
Jacob’s Thoughts – Listed below are my random thoughts as I was reading this article.
- @Turning off electronic appliances when leaving the room/house – I definitely agree with this, and I try to make sure to do it as much as possible upon leaving the house. However, I am not as good at turning off lights when I am just going to the other room.
- Does any one know if unplugging appliances helps save more money than just turning off the switch? Someone told me that appliances can draw electricity without being turned on.
- @Laundry – I get in trouble with this because sometimes, I hold off on doing laundry until I have TOO much to fit in one load. And, I usually end up having to run one full load and another partial load. This probably wastes money, and is something I need to improve upon.
- @Low Flow Faucets – Another idea in line with this is the idea of replacing your antique toilets with newer models that draw less water. I know my parents house (built in the 1800’s) has a downstairs toilet that draws an enormous amount of water per flush.
- @Saving money by turning up the thermostat when you leave in the summer – Building upon this idea, I normally turn off the A/C completely when I leave for work in the summer to save even more money.
***Photo courtesy of http://www.tony4greathomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Saving-Money-by-Cutting-Home-Energy-Losses.JPG