8 Tips to Cut Your Utility Bills
8 Tips to Cut Your Utility Bills
Here in the United States, we consume up to 17% of the world’s total energy. That’s a lot, and it doesn’t come free - or cheap.

Here in the United States, we consume up to 17% of the world’s total energy. That’s a lot, and it doesn’t come free - or cheap.

Luckily, there are things you can do - in your home and as a part of your daily routine - to help cut energy consumption. These are some of the top tips.

1. Shut down the electronics every night 
Computers waste a huge amount of electricity when left running, and can be powered up and down 40,000 times without affecting their lifespans. 

2. (Unplug them, too)
Even when off, appliances like TVs and microwaves use standby power. Some chargers do, too. Unplug them when not in use to prevent unnecessary draw from the power source

3. Use natural light and upgrade your lighting 
During the day, open the blinds and let the sunlight in. It’s better for your mood, and it’s free.

Also, if you still have halogen or incandescent lights flood lights or lighting, upgrade them to LED flood lights. 

LED lights burn so much less power than incandescent and halogen lights, and last 25 times longer, or more. Even conservative estimates suggest that LED lights are 75% or more efficient than incandescent lights. 

4. Don’t leave lights burning; set holiday lights on timers 
When you leave a room, turn the lights off, even if you’ve upgraded them to LED flood lights. 

At this time of year, when people are putting up holiday lights, it’s important not to let them burn through the night. Not only is no one going to see them at 3 AM, but it wastes electricity, which costs you money and is environmentally untenable.

5. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR-certified appliances
ENERGY STAR certifications are an official guarantee of energy efficiency for appliances like furnaces, washers and dryers, and refrigerators. 

These lights will save you on electric bills, eventually paying for themselves!

6. Wash clothes in cold water (and air dry)
Hot water cycles are rarely necessary and in fact can damage and shrink most garments, especially those made of cotton and wool. 

Also, hot water cycles are inveterate guzzlers of energy, as it takes a huge amount of gas or electricity to heat up water. 

Moreover, it costs on average 7 to 30 cents to run a dryer through one cycle. If you live in a climate with dry air and clear days, take advantage of them when you have them by drying clothes outside on a line instead of in the dry.

7. Thaw meats in the fridge, not the counter
This is a really neat energy-saving trick. When you need to thaw meat, stick them in the fridge instead of on the counter. 

First, putting them on the counter will make the room cooler (which is a waste, in the winter, at least).

Second, placing them in the fridge will keep the fridge cooler, which means the compressor will not have to work as hard - saving you money. 

8. Replace your HVAC filters once per month (or as recommended)
Clean air filters in your HVAC system are your first defense against airborne allergens and illnesses - and also your first defense against wasted energy. 

Clean air filters tax the system much less and can result in an energy-efficiency boost of as much as 15%.

Armed with these tips, you can cut your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, and some of them you can put into practice today! 

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