All the Ways You Could Save Money on Your Electricity Bills but You Probably Don’t

Your eyes do not deceive you; your electricity bill has increased. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Index report , prices for energy services (including electricity and other utilities) rose 13.7% year-over-year. Luckily, there are several ways to lower your utility bills this summer that you may not have tried yet. With a little creativity, a little focus, and a little compromise, you can bring your score down to a more reasonable level.

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Don’t use too much soap. When loading laundry, make sure you don’t overdo the detergent. Not only will this make the washing machine harder to work, but it may also require a second wash to remove excess soap. If you can find your washing machine’s serial number, you can look at its specifications and find out exactly how much detergent the manufacturer recommends you use because you’re probably using too much .

Clean the refrigerator and freezer doors. The idea here is to remove any grime/grease that may be preventing your refrigerator or freezer door from closing all the way. If there is some room for cold air to escape, it will make the refrigerator or freezer work harder to maintain its temperature, which will ultimately increase your bill. Take a paper towel and soap that doesn’t leave residue, and give those doors a quick wipe down.

Check your air conditioner filters, especially if you have pets. Your air conditioner is a really big deal when it comes to inflated energy bills during the summer. That’s why you should do your due diligence and check your filters frequently, especially if you’re a pet owner. A clogged filter will make the machine less efficient, ultimately hurting your comfort and your pocket. A new filter is not particularly expensive and will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Use a microwave, stove, grill, or toaster instead of an oven. These small appliances consume about a third of the energy of a broiler oven, according to Alabama Power . Not only that, they don’t fill the house with heat like an oven does, forcing the air conditioner to work harder to maintain the set temperature. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use the oven this summer, just be aware that timing (e.g. in the evening or on cooler days) can save you some energy costs.

Hang laundry outside to dry. Since your dryer needs heat to perform its functions, it becomes one of the most expensive appliances to run. If possible, hang laundry outside while the sun is out to dry your clothes. If you decide to do it, just make sure you do it right. But if you choose a dryer…

Take the clothes out of the dryer immediately and hang them up carefully. We’ve all been guilty of throwing clothes in the dryer and forgetting about them after they’ve run out. Then you end up opening the dryer door and seeing a wrinkled mess causing you to either 1) turn the dryer on a little longer or 2) break the ironing board out. Both of these options will increase your utility bill; You can nip this in the bud by paying a little attention to when your clothes are ready.

Reconsider washing and rinsing dishes by hand. Washing dishes by hand is a noble goal, but ultimately a stupid one. It is well known that washing dishes by hand is less economical than washing them in a dishwasher. Congratulations, you just got your half hour back at work.

Make sure that the heating outlets and return air vents are not blocked by furniture. Air vents do the important job of circulating air around the house to regulate the temperature. If they are blocked by furniture or curtains, you are affecting their ability to function, which ultimately affects your utility bills. Consider rearranging furniture if your vents are blocked; you may even feel like you just made a renovation .

Install motion sensor lights. We are all human; sometimes we forget to turn off the light when we leave the room. Fortunately for us, there are technologies that compensate for this natural human deficiency. Installing motion-sensing lights saves energy and therefore money as they turn off as soon as you leave the room. Everything you spend on buying them will be reimbursed by the money you save in your account. Pair them with LED bulbs and you’re good to go.

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