Buffalo may not have been hit as hard by the economic downswing as some other cities but many of us are still lighter in the wallet than we would prefer. It seems that almost nobody has been able to entirely escape at least some of the economic sting. Besides, regardless of our current economic situation, it is unlikely that any of us like the idea of wasting money. We would never throw money away consciously but many of us don’t realize how much money we could save by being a little wiser at home. The monthly utility bill is one of the peskiest expenses but there are a number of easy things that can be done to cut that bill down and save some money. Here are three of the easiest and most effective.
Most of our homes are packed full with gadgets, machines and appliances. Although most of these things are designed to simplify our lives and provide convenience, they can oftentimes do just the opposite. At the very least they can end up costing a lot of money. Being smart about the way you use your appliances can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Big appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and washing machines have become so commonplace that we don’t even consider them luxuries anymore and as a result we don’t consider that there might be a more economical way to use them. You will find that your utility bills are significantly lower each month if you only run big appliances when you have a full load, rather than every time something needs to be washed or cleaned. You should also avoid running appliances that give off a decent amount of heat (ovens, dryers, dishwashers) during the day in the hot summer months. That excess heat will increase your home’s internal temperature and put an extra burden on your air conditioning.
Speaking of temperature control, doors and windows are the most crucial aspects in maintaining a desirable temperature in your home year round. We all know that winter in Buffalo can be bitter cold and we all want to keep that cold outside as much as possible. One effective way to keep winter heating bills low is to keep the curtains open on all south facing windows during daylight hours to allow UV rays to naturally warm the home. The opposite should be done in the hot summer months to keep air conditioning costs low—close all window coverings during daylight hours and particularly all those that are on east and west facing windows.
Another great way to save money and avoid wasting energy is through the conservative use of lights. Forming the habit of turning off lights when leaving a room seems small and inconsequential but the economical use of lighting will help your electricity bill in big ways. It is wasteful to leave lights on when you’re not using them and especially if lights are left on while you are out of the house for long periods of time, such as for vacations or business trips. Some will leave lights on when leaving the home as a security precaution but it is far more effective and far more affordable in the long run to put your lights on timers. Automatic timers do a better job of improving home security while also avoiding the consistent drain on energy that runs up electricity bills in a hurry.
David Glenn is a home improvement expert from buffalo that freelance writes for Vivint. He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green. Check out Vivint’s home automation systems for state of the art home automation.