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The Best Ways to Save on Bills

We all get into a routine around our homes, and don’t stop to think about the little things we do automatically. But when it comes to saving on bills, it’s the small changes that can make a big difference.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled the best tips from our experts for ways to increase your home’s efficiency.

There were a lot of great ideas to choose from, and we’re confident that adopting just a few of them would lead to some serious cash flow for the holidays!

The Water Bill

Washing laundry in cold water can save about $60 per year. And running washing machines and dishwashers at odd non-prime hours will also save you money.

Replace showerheads with low-flow heads and replace faucets or
just the aerators. Low-flow showerheads can save you between 10% to 16%
 of water heating costs and reduce your water usage by 15,00-20,000 gallons per
year.

Install low-flow toilets. This will save you 3.5 gallons per 
flush.

The Heating System Bill

Lowering the temperature on your water heater from 130 to 120 will save 5% 
on your energy bill.

When you’re cold, instead of turning up the heat, put on a sweatshirt. You
can save around 10% a year on your heating bill by turning your thermostat
 back 10°–15° for eight hours.

Use a programmable thermostat that allows you to automatically adjust heat
 and air conditioning while you are away.

Replace your heater’s air filter. Your heating system will work less hard, use less energy and last longer as a result.

Insulation

Insulate your hot water heater. Doing so can cut your home’s
 CO2 emissions and save you around 4% to 9% in water heating costs. You
 also reduce standby heat costs by 25%-45%. If your heater is warm to the touch, it needs
 additional insulation.

Every duct, wire, or pipe that penetrates the wall or ceiling or floor has the potential to waste energy. Plumbing vents can be especially bad, since they begin below the floor and go all the way through the roof. Seal them all with caulking or weather ­stripping. According to field research performed by the California Energy Commission, you can save roughly 10% of your heating bill by preventing leaky ducts.

Insulate your attic. In an older home, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Spray foam is more expensive, but it’s also more efficient & offers better coverage. However, the traditional insulation by the roll is easier to install for the DIY-er. Make sure you install the correct “R” rating & that you aren’t blocking any vents & soffits.

The Cooling System Bill

Make sure your central air conditioning unit is correctly sized to 
your home and is the highest efficiency available. High Seasonal Energy
 Efficiency Ratios (SEERs) should be 13.0 SEER and above.

Install ceiling fans. This will cut air conditioning costs by 
40% in summer. And in the winter, these ceiling fans work to 
circulate warm air from the ceiling back down to the floor to save
 heating cost.

The Electricity Bill

Choose a home with environmentally-friendly appliances, like EnergyStar.

Lighting

Use solar outdoor lighting; why bother with electricity when you can tap into the sun’s power for free?

Energy-efficient CFL’s
 last 8 to 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Just one bulb alone can
 save at least $30 in electric bills over its lifespan and reduce 
greenhouse emissions from power plants.

Most people think of dimmers in terms of aesthetics, not efficiency. But dimming the lights is one of the easiest ways you can save energy. Dimming a light to just 10% results in 10% energy savings and doubles the life of the lightbulb.

Windows

Take note of windows in your home. How do they open? Do they open? Are they double-paned? Make sure you can easily open windows for extra ventilation and light when the weather is nice so you can enjoy the fresh air, extra lighting, and use your A/C or heater less.

Replace old windows with new high performance dual pane windows. Or use self-adhesive reflective film on the windows.
These films reduce air conditioning bills. In addition, reflective film 
can eliminate interior upholstery fading by blocking harmful UV rays.

Entertainment Bills

Use your computer and Skype to make phone calls for free. All you need is a 
mic and speakers. If you have a webcam, video calls are free as well.

Getting rid of your landline and using only your cell phone can save an 
average of $50 every month.
Save $25-$75 per year by turning your computer off every night.

More Tips

The Kill a Watt Meter can help you cut your energy costs and find out what 
appliances are actually worth keeping plugged in.

Sign up for paper free billing and pay all your bills online. Not only will this help you cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive, but you’ll save some trees as well!

Get an energy efficiency inspection, which will zero in on problem areas where you can begin to make cost-effective improvements that are unique to your property.

Donate cabinets, 
sinks and other appliances to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity. You can get a
 tax write-off, help someone else in need and save room in the landfill.
This information was compiled from the answers provided by eLocal’s Blog-Off Experts. To see the original research, click here.