There is no question that every family’s budget would be better off if the utility bills were lower and that is as true here in Arizona as it is anywhere else in the country. It might seem like real savings can only be found by taking on big, often expensive, home renovation projects but the truth is, you can save a little money here and there with some small, simple changes. Over time, adding all those small savings together can make a big difference to your bottom line. Here are some of our favorite tips for cutting your home utility bills. Use the ones that apply to you and let us know what other great tips you have for cutting these kinds of costs on our Facebook page.
1. Use the Sun
We are lucky to get so much sun here in Arizona and harnessing the power it provides can be a great cost saver. You may be thinking sun energy must mean solar which is one of those expensive projects, but investing in solar panels isn’t the only way to use the power of the sun to ease up on your energy needs. You can also do things like build a solar oven and use it for baking and grilling which cuts down on the energy you need for cooking.
2. Do Some Solar
While converting all your electric use over to solar might be beyond your budget, you can decrease your utility bills by replacing your water heater with one that uses solar energy, installing solar powered outdoor lights, and using solar collecting swimming pool and hot tub covers.
3. Hang it Out to Dry
Many of us are so used to the convenience of our dryer that we don’t even think about how much energy it takes to dry the clothes. A great way to cut that utility bill is to switch over to an old fashioned clothesline whenever weather permits.
4. Get a Programmable Thermostat
You can significantly impact your utility bills by installing a programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat allows you to create a schedule of when your house should be at a specific temperature which means you won’t need to keep the air conditioning on all day while you are at work just to ensure the house is comfortably cool when you get home. By some estimates, this small change can save almost $200 a year.
5. Buy Better Bulbs
Another quick and easy way to decrease the amount you are spending on basic needs is to swap out all your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Each 60-watt bulb you swap out will save you about $70 over the life of the bulb. In addition to the energy savings, because these bulbs last much longer, you have to buy less of them which provide even more savings.
6. Unplug Everything
Simply unplug anything that requires electricity when it is not being used and you will save a lot of money over the course of a year. While it might seem inconvenient to have to plug things in before using them, you can make this easier by using power strips to plug several items in that are commonly used together. This way, you only have to plug and unplug one thing instead of several.
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