Commonly Overlooked Ways to Save on Utilities

Everyone knows that to save on utilities it is important to reduce the use of major appliances. However, the common adage of turning off the lights does not always lead to significant enough results to lower utility bills. Because the average household often uses more gas and electricity than they are aware of, it is important to examine how every aspect of a family’s routine can be adjusted to help add up to major savings on utilities.

In order to help anyone who would like to save on their utilities, the following ideas are among some of the most commonly overlooked ways that people can make changes to reduce their usage of electricity and gas.

Wash Laundry on Cold 

Many people mistakenly believe that the majority of energy used during laundry is for running the washing machine. However, most of the energy used during laundry is actually used for heating up the water. Therefore, simply moving the switch to a cold wash can effectively reduce energy bills.

Monitor Appliances 

Many appliances use energy even when they are not being used. In fact, if an appliance is plugged in, then it is most likely drawing energy even when it is not turned on. Many households have appliances that they no longer use. If they are still in working order, consider them for your next garage sale or just move them to a storage unit for safe keeping.

Install Weather Stripping 

Most of a home’s cool air and heat escape out of the house through tiny cracks and crevices along the seams of windows and doors. Even the smallest of cracks can lead to significant energy loss. Therefore, it is important to make sure that all of these cracks are sealed.

Pay Attention to Windows 

Simply changing the window decorations each season can help to cut out heating and cooling costs. During the summer, the windows should be shaded with heavy curtains or blinds to block out the sun. When winter comes, these can be removed so that the sun can shine through and help to heat up the house.

Take Cool Showers 

Showers are well-known for being a way to save water as they require less than a bath. However, showers can also be used to cut down on gas and electricity by reducing the amount that is needed to heat the water. Therefore, a cool and quick shower can provide an invigorating way to save.

Around the home, minor changes can be made to reduce the use of gas and electricity. While many of these ideas are often overlooked, they take little effort and can add up to major rewards when the utility bill arrives in the mail. Saving on utilities is as simple as incorporating these ideas into a person’s daily routines.

14 thoughts on “Commonly Overlooked Ways to Save on Utilities”

    • Getting overheated and not wanting a hot shower, that’s definitely a good plan to reduce your hot water usage…and stay in shape! Double the benefit.

  1. My wife uses cold water for laundry for this very reason — and we did notice a change in our electricity bill! I guess old detergents used to rely on hot water to work properly, but now-a-days, they make them where cold water is okay. So get that cold water going!

    • Good point. We still use warm/hot on light/white loads, but maybe it’s worth a try to see how the clothes come out with everything cold. Now it’s just a matter of convincing Mrs. Beagle….

  2. I’ve read that your dryer is the number one energy-consuming item in your home. As such, reducing its use should yield the best results– maybe do less wash and hang your items when you can! Good post!

  3. We hang a lot of our laundry to dry, and that saves a lot of hydro. I’ve also turned off the “heat dry” option on our dishwasher and let the dishes air dry instead.

    • Yeah, I like that, though we wash our kid stuff in there and my wife likes the steam to sanitize it, so we’re still on the higher usage factor for now.

  4. I’m a fan of using cold water for laundry and showers. Another idea is use the AC moderately or go hit the mall to use their AC. Thanks for the reminder every little thing counts!

    • The mall definitely has lots of AC but the problem is that you can end up spending money while you’re there, taking away all of your ‘savings’!

  5. We use cold water for all our wash. And unless I’m drying think towels or blankets, I use the delicate cycle on most clothes, especially the lil’ guy’s clothes. Our dryer also allows us to set the “dryness” level as it’s semi-smart dryer. Many times we pull the stuff out a little damp and finish drying elsewhere.

    As for AC, in the summer we turn the temp up to about 80 or 82 when we’re not home (programmable is awesome) and to about 78 when we are home. If we know the evening temp outside is going to be 75 or less, we turn off the air and open all the windows. I lived for years in a house that had no AC, so got really good at circulating cold air from areas like the basement through the house and out the upstairs rooms using fans. They took up less electricity than a window air conditioner, which could only cool the room it was attached to.

    As for showers though, I’m a hot water person. I could tolerate a warm shower, but no way could I do a cold shower. That might be one thing I don’t know I could give up just to save some moolah.

    • I’ve always thought it would be nice to be able to push air from the basement out to the rest of the house, so if you have more info on that, I’d love to know how.

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