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8 Simple Steps to Save on Electric, Gas and Water Bills This Winter | Rare Techy


This story is partial Home AdviceCNET’s collection of practical tips for making the most of your home, inside and out.

Temperatures — and snow in some places — are dropping, and instead, we’re turning on our air conditioners. But many types of electricity will be more expensive this winter; Some prices are rising faster than the increase. The Information Technology Administration predicts that the cost of heating your home with electricity will be 10% higher this year than last year, the costs of heating with natural gas (28%) and oil (27 %) increases again. That’s hundreds of dollars, no matter how you cut it.

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If the higher costs are starting to put a strain on your budget, you can start making changes to reduce the energy you use and cut your bill. Even if it’s a little similar unpacking unused equipment, washing clothes a different way, cooking or other energy saving devices setting your thermostat to the correct temperature you can save money and make your home more comfortable.

Here are seven steps you can take to start saving energy, gas, water — and money. For more money saving tips, see more information how to save money on your heating bill this winter, how to trim your home to save on billsand how expensive it is to run space heating.

Get an electronic review

Many energy companies offer free audits, which will do a room-by-room inspection of your home and look at your energy bills to determine where you’re wasting energy. You can follow their advice to help reduce your electricity bill.

Even if your electric company doesn’t provide this service, you can perform a DIY home electrical audit using the guidelines provided by the US Department of Energy.

Customize your description

One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bill is to adjust your air conditioning. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 10% on your heating and cooling costs by adjusting your thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day. That is, warmer in the summer and warmer in the winter.

The easiest way to do this is to adjust your thermostat while you are sleeping or away from home. If you have any smart descriptionyou can set your timer to fix these hours so you don’t forget.

Amazon's thermostat is set to 73 degrees Fahrenheit

By adjusting your thermostat for a few hours a day you can save a lot on your energy bills.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Turn on your water heater

Many water heater manufacturers set thermostats to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C). But in reality, most homes should be set to a maximum of 120 F. Setting your water heater to a lower temperature can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Adjusting the temperature of the water heater a quick and easy fix. The heating wire on your water heater is located near the bottom of the tank on an electric or gas system. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for repair instructions — and if you have questions, talk to a technician.

water heater meter

Adjusting your water heater will save energy and reduce bills.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Turn off and unpack what you don’t use

By leaving things around your house plugged in and on when you’re not using them, your electricity bill is going up.

You can start by turning off the lights when you are not in the room or when it is light outside to rely only on natural light. Light bulbs cost 4 cents an hour for 40 watts (although the average American costs more). That amount will only increase due to the intensity of the light. While it may not seem like much, it can add up over time.

You can also save money by getting rid of equipment you don’t use. Phantom energy, the energy used when devices are connected but not turned on, can be charged on average. $100 per year.

Use your dishwasher

It may be a different idea to run an appliance to save on your electricity bill. Yes, there was a time when dishwashers used more water than they do today. But the Department of Energy limits how much water new dishwashers can use. Dishwashers manufactured since 2013 are limited to using 5 gallons of water. If it’s a compact size dishwasher, limit it to 3.5 gallons.

You might think it takes less than 5 gallons of water to wash your dishes. But the US Geological Survey estimates that it takes 9 to 27 gallons of water to manually wash a load of dishes. (If you’re interested, we also have a tip how to load your dishwasher the right way.)

Use off-peak rates

Electricity usage increases at certain times of the day and year. First, demand is higher in the winter and summer when people run heaters and air conditioners. It is also higher during the daytime and evening hours.

Some electric companies offer time-of-use plans, increasing rates during peak hours and reducing them during off-peak hours. If you have one of these plans, you can save money by managing major appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine early morning or late at night.

Change your air filters

Your air filter helps trap dirt, dust, pet hair and more, keeping it out of your HVAC system. When you don’t change your air filter regularly too much, this debris can get into your HVAC system, breaking it down and reducing its efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, replacing your air filter on schedule can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption anywhere from 5% to 15%. (Here How much money can you save by changing your furnace filter?too.)

There are many other ways to save on your bills

There are many steps, big and small, you can take to reduce your consumption and save money on your bills. The Department of Energy has an entire section of its website dedicated to providing tips to help you save energy. And while many of them come with a price tag, there are many more like the ones on this list that you can get for free.

For more information, see the ceiling fan trick can help keep your house warmer this winter, and How much does firefighting cost?.

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