5 Painless Ways to Slash Your Utility Bills

Bills are expensive, but sacrificing comfort to save a few bucks every month hardly seems worth it. Here are a few ways to significantly save on your monthly energy bills, without changing your lifestyle. It's amazing how much of an impact a few simple changes can make. 

Check your bill: 

Sometimes, gas or electric companies are unable to obtain an actual meter reading, usually because your meter is not accessible without a key to the building. So, instead of charging you for the actual amount of energy you consume, they make an estimate. As you might expect, the estimate will almost always be higher than your actual energy usage. Check on the company’s website or give them a call to figure out the best way to address this. You may be able to read the meter yourself or schedule a time to let the reader into your building.

Check the vents: 

This one is pretty straightforward. Make sure all the heating/cooling vents in your apartment are open and clean. It is recommended that you replace the filter every couple months. Luckily, they’re pretty cheap and easy to find at any hardware store.  

Use you appliances at night: 

Using energy at peak hours will mean paying a higher rate than you would in the late evening (typically around 8 PM, call your company to check). If you are not pressed for time, run the dishwasher at night and do laundry before bed. Keep in mind that using minimal hot water for these appliances’ settings will cut down on energy costs as well.

Check your ceiling fans: 

They help maintain temperature, meaning you won't have to run the heat or AC quite so often. In the winter, your fan should be spinning clockwise in order to push the rising heat back down. During the summer, the fan should be spinning counter clockwise to push the rising hot air out. The direction can easily be reversed by a switch on the fan. 

Unplug everything: 

Well, everything except the refrigerator. Plugged in electronics use energy even when they’re not in use. TV’s, video game consoles, computers, and modems are all still sucking up energy unless they’re unplugged. The good news is that none of these things need to be on when you’re sleeping or out of the house. Keep your electronics plugged into a power strip to save electricity with the flip of a switch. 

For more energy-saving tips, check out Easy Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill and  6 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.

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