Spending less on your monthly utility bills is one of the best ways to make your budget tighter. Many people take utility bills for granted as a set cost, but you can reduce them significantly with some intelligent decisions. Here are some ways to lower your monthly utility bill, which will dramatically impact you.
1. Know Your Peak Hours
Most utility companies have an issue where their energy-generating equipment can make the same volume of energy at night. Still, fewer people use that energy then, which is challenging to store. So, they charge less during the evening and night hours to encourage people to use the excess power generated now. If you can run things like dishwashers or washing machines during these off-peak hours, you can spend less on the same amount of electricity. You need to figure out when your utility company considers “off-peak.”
2. Reduce Hot Water Usage
It costs a great deal to heat water. Reducing the amount of hot water, you use can help if you can. You can have shorter showers or showers that are slightly colder. You can wash clothing in cold water. You can also insulate your pipes to help keep them warm as the water travels to you.
3. Invest in More Efficient Appliances
Sometimes you need to spend money to save money. HVAC and plumbing technologies have come a long way in the last several years, and many new appliance options are significantly more efficient, to the point that they can very quickly make back the cost of purchasing them through lowered utility bills. Some of the best options include:
- High-efficiency furnaces
- Hybrid water heaters
- Tankless water heaters
- Efficient fridges and freezers
As a bonus, raise the temperature in your fridge or lower the temperature of your water heater to save consistently. Ensure your chosen temperature is safe and low or high enough to prevent bacteria growth.
4. Maintain Your Appliances
Almost all of the appliances in your home, from your water heater to your furnace, need regular maintenance to stay as efficient as possible. Over-full filters, buildup on heating elements, and things caught in the fan are all issues that can undermine the efficiency of your appliance and make them spend significantly more energy to do its job. You can prevent all of this with regular maintenance. As a bonus, this will also help reduce the need to repair these appliances in the future.
5. Install Solar Panels
I don’t have to tell you that solar power reduces greenhouse gas emissions or is far less expensive than gas or electric power. But if you’re trying to switch all the major systems in your home to run off solar panels, you’ll need to know if those systems can actually be powered by the sun. I can help you check off one of those major household systems: water heating. Yes, water heaters can be powered by solar panels.
To be specific, only electric or high-efficiency hybrid water heaters can be powered by solar panels. The reason solar panels can’t power your gas water heater is that solar panels can only turn sunshine into electricity, not gas. So, if your water is currently heated by gas (whether in a tank-style or tankless system) and you want to heat your water with a solar panel, you’ll need to upgrade your water heater.
Good News: since the State of California wants you to use less energy, right now, they’ll even pay for part of the cost of switching to a hybrid!
6. Handle Plumbing Leaks
Small leaks in your pipes, toilet, or other fixtures may waste a great deal of water but may also go unseen for months. The result is higher water bills—and you might not even notice it. An inspection from your plumber can let you know if you have any leaks that are wasting your money.
What questions do you have about your water heater — hybrid or conventional? We’ll happily answer them and ensure you have the right system for you and your family.
Give us a call at (925) 872-0805.