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According to the US Department of Energy, the typical US family spends at least $2,200 per year on energy bills—with nearly half of that paying for heating and cooling. To help you lower your utility bills this fall and winter, here are 10 tips from Rebecca Gramuglia, Personal Finance Expert at TopCashback.com.
- Bundle up on warm accessories. The cheapest, easiest and coziest way to stay warm this winter without a spike in your heating bill is to wear warm socks and sweaters while inside. You can also cuddle up in extra blankets while sleeping and lounging! If you feel that your floors are cold, consider purchasing an area rug to insulate the floor.
- Install blackout curtains. Keeping your electricity bill low can be tricky, but it is possible with the necessary items at hand. Save up to 25 percent off home heating and cooling this year by swapping out your regular curtains with Blackout Energy-Efficient curtains that blackout 99 percent of outside light and up to 40 percent of unwanted noise. You can purchase blackout curtains and other winter essentials at a discounted price by shopping via a third-party rebates site such as TopCashback to shop your favorite retailers including Target and Walmart to receive money back on qualifying purchases.
- Adjust the thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save money when they are sleeping or not home. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills. Install a programmable thermostat to make it easier to control the temperature while you’re away from home or catching some zzz’s.
- Perform regular maintenance on your furnace. Winterizing a home is a great way for homeowners to prepare for the cold months. Keep your furnace and vents properly maintained and cleaned to reduce energy consumption.
- Take shorter showers. Don’t waste your time in the shower. Focus on getting in and out. If you can take cold showers, even better! You will ultimately reduce the expense of heating up water.
- Don’t let the water run while doing dishes or brushing your teeth. Letting the water run is a waste of time and money. Make it a habit of turning the sink off between brushing, and washing dishes.
- Turn down your water heater. There’s no point in heating the water if you’re not home to use it! About 14-25 percent of the energy consumed in your home is due to running a water heater. Lower the temperature 10-20 degrees or turn the knob to “vacation mode” to save energy while you’re not home.
- Switch to LED lights. ‘Tis the season for festive decorations and lights! Use LED holiday lights to reduce the cost of decorating inside and outside of your home. LED bulbs offer the brightest light for the least amount of money and are better perceived by consumers when compared to other energy-saving light bulbs such as halogen and compact fluorescent.
- Consider eco-friendly options. Sustainable updates to your investment property not only are good for the environment, but they can also help cut costs on your regular expenses in the long run. Look into eco-friendly landscaping, smart tech options such as smart lighting and thermostats, and replacing old windows and siding.
- Unplug to save on your electricity bill. Minimize a major bill at home by unplugging all unused electrical devices. Electronic devices have a tendency to continuously pull small amounts of electricity that can add up quickly. Eliminate that unnecessary usage by unplugging any items or power strips you’re not using.