It’s Hump day y’all!
Here in Raleigh the heat is unbearable, and it feels as if everything I do revolves around that. Clothing preferences, our at-home dinner menus, our adventuring on the weekends… what can we do to slow down melting like a popsicle?
During the summer months we tend become big spenders when it comes to our utility bills, so this year we decided to play a more active role in controlling some of these [outrageous] costs.
- Keep your doors shut and your curtains closed during the day. Why cool (or heat during the winter) an entire house when you only find yourself in the kitchen or living room for a majority of your day? Conserve energy and cool the spaces you’re in. Don’t make your AC work harder with the rays shinning through those windows as well.
- Invest in the Nest. Google has really outdone themselves with their new smart home technology, my favorite product being their Nest. This device monitors your living patterns and adjusts your AC/Heater to use minimum energy when you are not around. Our energy usage has decreased by as much as 30% during some months in the first year we installed the device. It might feel like a bit of an investment at $250.00, but this cost will be recovered within a year or so of its purchase. For more information check out their website HERE.
- Check your weather forecast before watering plants. I do this simply because I am lazy and want to put as little effort as possible into maintaining my garden, but check your forecast! Why pay to run water at your home when mother nature is willing to handle it for you?
- Be aware of what you’re paying for. This goes for any utility charge in your home. If you’re spending hundreds on a cable plan that you only use for a handful of channels, look into downgrading or switching to a streaming account like Netflix or Hulu.
- Get out of your house and explore. Go to a neighborhood pool, a local park (if it’s not too hot) or explore the many museums in downtown Raleigh. There are plenty of indoor attractions that are low cost or free for you to enjoy, and allow you to skip cooling your entire home during these hot months.
- Be intentional when doing laundry. Don’t just do “a pool towel” here and “a couple of white shirts” there. Be intentional and load the crap out of your washer when using it. Make full use of your water and electricity with a full load of laundry as often as possible. This goes for your dishwasher as well. If possible, chose times when energy prices are the lowest, generally late at night, to run your washers – companies charge for energy based on their usage. Make use of that “delayed wash” option!
- Monitor your utility bills. Are you the type of person that opts for the automatic payments because otherwise, let’s face it, you’ll forget about them? (I am!) There is nothing wrong with this, but don’t forget to monitor these bills monthly to check for discrepancies. Recently I noticed that my Time Warner Cable bill was $20.00 higher than normal. After checking with TWC, we realized this was due to the fact that our introductory offer had expired, but a 10 minute conversation with a representative brought our price back down to normal. If I had not noticed these costs, I would have paid an extra $240.00 over the course of a year just for my cable and internet.
Do you have any tips or tricks that work well when keeping your utility costs down? Share in the comments!