I used to think food and clothing were my biggest monthly expenses. Between myself, my Thrifty Husband, and the two kids, you’re looking at a lot of food, and a lot of clothes. But when I recently reviewed my monthly expenses, I was surprised to find out that utilities – specifically, electricity – was my biggest expense.
The fact that it has gotten pretty hot in my city is probably a big reason for this. But it also turns out, power consumption is also increasing in lots of places in the country (mostly due to air conditioner use). This article from Drax presents that situation in plain numbers:
“In hot countries, electricity use soars in times of extreme weather due to increased use of cooling devices like air conditioning. One US study predicted an extreme temperature upswing could drive as much as a 7.2% increase in US peak demand.”
And this doesn’t just apply to the United States. Even certain parts in Europe, electricity consumption is slated to increase due to hot weather (TIL it could get really hot in Northern Europe!):
“In Northern Europe including the UK, where air conditioning is less prevalent, the effects of heat aren’t as pronounced, but that could change. In France, hot weather is estimated to have contributed to a 2 GW increase in demand this June.”
A few months ago, my family and I decided that it was time to really put a dent on our monthly electric bill. We came up with a list of methods and strategies for saving on power. We came up with these methods by both doing research, and carefully analyzing our power usage habits. I’m happy to report that these techniques really do work. Our monthly electric bill has dropped a considerable amount. And best of all, these weren’t hard to do, nor did they require big sacrifice. All it took was some ingenuity, and just a little bit of discipline.
The statistics shown in the article I’ve linked prove that it’s very likely that I’m not the only one looking for ways to save on home utility bills. And because of that, I decided to write this blog post. Here, I’ll be sharing all the ways to save money on utilities that my family and I tried out.
These are all practical, and doable, ways to save on utilities.
If you’ve been looking for advice on how to save on utilities, read on!
Lessen Your Air Conditioner Use
As mentioned in the linked article, air conditioning is a big reason for high power consumption. Air conditioners consume lots of power, specifically the high-horsepower ones. I had a high-HP unit in our living room, which, when I look back, was a pretty big luxury.
So the first money-saving method we did was to cut down on our A/C use. We decided to sell off the air conditioner in the living room. And we all agreed to use the A/C units in our rooms for no more than a couple of hours each night. Some nights, our kids even bring sleeping bags and sleep in our bedroom. This adds to even more power savings!
Cutting down on A/C usage is a no-brainer, but it resulted in some pretty drastic reductions in our monthly power bill.
Get Cooling and Ceiling Fans
Things can get really uncomfortable without air conditioning, especially during sweltering summer afternoons. So we decided to get a bunch of fans for each room. And the Thrifty Husband installed a ceiling fan in our living room. It did cost us some money to get these fans, but it didn’t cost too much, and the savings will eventually more than cover for the cost of acquiring these.
The ceiling fan, in particular, has been an awesome addition to our home. Regular fans can sometimes blow heat back at you. But a ceiling fan pulls up hot air, and lets cool air stay near the bottom of the room. This results in a cool room – and cool savings, to boot!
Open Your Windows
This is one of the simplest ways to cool down your house – and one of my top methods for saving money on utilities. Opening windows lets warm air out of the house, but most importantly, it lets air circulate throughout the house. When air circulates, you lose that stagnant, stuffy feeling, which is sometimes worse than actual heat!
Of course, I wouldn’t recommend you open your windows if you live in a neighborhood with a high crime rate. And, for sure, my family and I shut our windows when it’s night or when we leave the house. But if it’s possible, throw those windows open, let some fresh air in, and save a bunch of money on your electric bill!
Get Blackout Curtains
While I recommend keeping your windows open during the day, privacy should still be a top priority as much as saving on power. And for that, I recommend blackout curtains. These types of curtains are usually thicker and darker than regular curtains. They give you a better sense of privacy, but one of their biggest benefits is that they keep the room cool. Dark fabrics don’t absorb heat. Plus the lack of light gives a cool vibe in the room. When the room is naturally cool, this results in greater savings.
Keep Your Air Conditioner Properly Maintained
Air conditioners already consume a great amount of power. And that translates to a big chunk of money. But you know what consumes even more power than an air conditioner? A poorly-maintained one, of course. When your air conditioner has a dusty filter, or has a poorly-functioning compressor, it tends to draw more power. Basically, the air conditioner is working harder than usual to compensate for the clogged filters.
One of the easiest ways to maintain an air conditioner is to have it regularly cleaned. When you do this, the crew can also check for loose seals, leaky gaskets, and faulty motors. You’ll have to spend to do this, but the savings will be more than worth it!