50 Top Tips for Saving on Your Gas/Electricity Bill

Gas/electricity bill: When you’re living in an apartment, you don’t get to control the thermostat or change out the windows. For that reason, it’s especially important to keep a close eye on your gas and electricity usage. Even if your landlord controls these utilities, they will still have an effect on your rent.
Fortunately, there are several simple measures you can take to reduce both your gas and electricity usage. These strategies won’t cost you much money up front but will add up to hundreds of dollars in savings every year. Even if you live in an apartment or another type of residence that doesn’t give you much control over your utilities, there are plenty of simple ways to save money on them. Here are 50 top tips for saving on your gas/electricity bill:

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Read on: 10 Ways You Can Save Money on Your Utility Bill

50 Top Tips for Saving on Your Gas/Electricity Bill

gas/electricity bill: BusinessHAB.com

Everyone likes to know that they’re getting the best value for their money, whether it’s on a new pair of shoes or the utilities in their home. When it comes to your monthly gas and electric bill, your first inclination may be to look at the cost per unit and try to find ways to lower that number. While this is a good start, there are other variables you may not have considered that will help you get the most from your utility usage without breaking the bank. Below are some tips from the U.S. Department of Energy and other specialists on how you can save on your gas and electric bill every month, not just once in a blue moon:

Change your air filter regularly

Air filters help to keep your HVAC system running efficiently by collecting dust, pollen and other contaminants that would otherwise find their way into your system and clog up the moving parts. The frequency at which you should change your air filter varies based on the type of filter you have, but as a rule of thumb, you should change it as often as you change your car’s oil. Check your owner’s manual or do a quick internet search on how often you should change your particular filter to find the best schedule for your home. Having a clean air filter can help to lower your energy costs by allowing the system to run more efficiently, which results in lower utility bills. Having a dirty air filter can actually increase the wear and tear on your system and shorten its lifespan, which will end up costing you more in the long run as you’ll have to replace the system sooner.

See also: 10 Tips on How to Save Money on Your Gas and Electricity Bills

Repair any heating or cooling system problems immediately

If you notice that your system isn’t running as efficiently as it used to, schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling specialist immediately. Ignoring these types of problems, like a broken blower or clogged filter, can cause your monthly utility bill to skyrocket as your system is forced to work overtime to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Even if your system isn’t broken, but you notice that it isn’t as efficient as it once was (i.e. costs more per hour to run) try to pinpoint the cause. Is your filter clogged? Are your thermostat settings incorrect? In many cases, small changes can have a huge impact on your monthly utility bill.

Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats help you to control the temperature in your home based on what is happening in your daily schedule. For example, if you work a 9-5 job, you may want to set your thermostat to a lower temperature at night when no one is home and then have it automatically increase when you get home from work. Having a programmable thermostat is especially helpful during the fall and spring months. The summer months are consistently warm and don’t require as much temperature control, but it’s almost impossible to avoid having your heating or cooling system running during the fall and spring. Having a programmable thermostat will allow you to save money in two ways: first, it will keep your home at a consistent temperature, which will prevent you from having to run your system longer than necessary (and paying a higher bill as a result). And secondly, it will allow you to lower the temperature at night to save money on electricity.

Read on: How to Save Money on Energy Costs When Renting an Apartment

Lightly-colored windows help keep your home from overheating

When the weather starts to warm up, you’ll want to make sure that the windows in your home are as light-colored as possible. A dark-colored window will act as a blanket, keeping heat from escaping. This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences extreme temperatures; a dark-colored window will trap the heat inside your home, making it very uncomfortable to be inside during the summer. If you have dark-colored windows, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the amount of heat they trap inside: You can install shades or curtains, you can use a decal or poster that reflects heat, or you can paint your windows a light color. Any of these will help to prevent your home from overheating.

Use fans to increase airflow and lower temperature

If you have a heat-related issue, you’ll want to open the windows to let the warm air escape and fresh air come in. But if you have a cold-related issue, you’ll want the windows closed to prevent cold air from coming inside. In this case, you’ll want to run fans to increase airflow and lower the temperature of your home. This is especially effective if you’re trying to lower the temperature in only one or two rooms. If you run a fan in a window, it will pull in cool air from outside, which will help to lower the temperature in the room where the fan is located.

Maintain your appliances to increase efficiency

If you replace your appliances with energy efficient models, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also help the environment. It may be tempting to look for a deal on a cheap appliance, but you’ll end up paying more in the long run as these appliances will use more energy to perform the same amount of work as a more efficient model. There are many websites that have comparison charts for different brands of appliances, so you can easily find the most efficient models for your home. You can also take advantage of rebates offered by your local government and utility companies by scheduling maintenance for your appliances, such as changing out your air filter and vacuuming your HVAC unit. This will help to keep your system running at optimal levels and may result in reduced utility bills.

Upgrade your home’s insulation

Having an energy audit performed by a certified technician can help you to identify areas of your home that don’t have enough insulation. This may be a problem if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain, or if your home was built before the 1970s when insulation standards were much lower. You can also get an idea of where you may need more insulation by taking an inside look at the walls in your home. Where do you see gaps between the walls and the floor or ceiling? Where do you see gaps between the walls and the roof? These are all signs that you may need more insulation. Having your home’s insulation upgraded is one of the most effective ways to lower your utility bill, as it will help to keep the warm/cool air in your home where it belongs. This results in less reliance on your HVAC system (which means lower utility bills) and less chance of condensation forming on your walls (which causes rot and mold).

Enlist the help of an energy auditor

An energy auditor will come to your home and perform a thorough inspection to identify areas where you may be losing energy. They may check your insulation, the age of your appliances and even the type of light bulbs you’re using. If they find any issues, they can make recommendations on how to fix them to help you reduce your monthly utility bill and be more eco-friendly at the same time. You can also request an audit when you sign up for new utility service. Many companies will send an auditor to your home to make sure that you’re getting the best possible service for your needs. An energy audit is typically free, and the auditor will help you to identify areas that can be improved to lower your monthly utility bill. They may also be able to recommend energy-efficient appliances that you can purchase with a rebate, which will help to lower your monthly bill even more.

Summing up

Gas and electricity bills can be difficult to control, especially if you’re not sure where to start. But if you incorporate these tips into your everyday life, you can save money on your bill each month, without having to make drastic changes to your lifestyle.

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