The days have shortened, and the air is crisp as winter is in full swing. During this time of the year, you are likely spending more time in your home. Many of us typically see our utility bills start to creep up in the winter. Don’t worry - there are some easy tips and tricks to help you save this season.
Your electric bill is often your most-expensive utility bill each month. You probably know some of the obvious ways to keep your bill down, including turning off lights and televisions when you leave the room and not opening the refrigerator or freezer doors for extended periods of time.
What you may not know is that some of your devices still draw energy even when you believe they are off. Whether it is a kitchen appliance, home gym equipment or more, many devices remain on stand-by even when not in use. Try using power strips with a switch you can flip on and off, unplugging and storing away certain smaller appliances when not in use or cutting off the power to something larger like a treadmill at the base of the machine. This can save you money without altering your everyday life.
Heating bills rise in the winter – but there are ways you can avoid having to choose between saving money or staying comfortable in your home.
If there are rooms in your house that are not often used, close the doors or entryways to conserve heat. Turn your thermostat down when you are going to be out of the home for a period of time. Furthermore, set your ceiling fans on reverse, which spreads out the air trapped at the ceiling across the rest of the room. Also, make sure your furniture doesn’t block the vents; leaving space around the vents allows for warm air to flow more freely.
It can be a habit to leave the sink on while you brush your teeth or wait by the shower for it to warm up to your liking. These things can also lead to a spike in your water bill. Try to only have your sink on when you are actively using the water. Also, taking showers in lieu of baths and limiting your showers to five minutes or less can have a significant effect on your bill. When possible, try to clean full loads of laundry and dishes, saving the number of times your appliances will be using water.
Check your internet package. You may not need the most-powerful internet speeds – which come at a higher price – unless you have a large number of devices using internet at the same time or if you play video games online. You can also save money by purchasing your own equipment like a router rather than renting one from your provider, saving you money in the long run.
TV and Streaming Services
Whether you have traditional cable television, streaming services or a combination, review your spend on entertainment. With so many different streaming providers, it can be easy to rack up several monthly subscription fees (especially with each offering a free trial!) without truly realizing how much you are spending. Review each and decide which warrant a place in your budget.
As you can see, there are many ways to cut down on your utility spend, even as you notice a rise in the winter months. By following these tips, you could find yourself saving a significant sum each year.
Reviewed July 2023
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.