Tips to Save Money & Energy

It doesn’t matter who you are — bills are bills when it comes to having a place to call your own.

Whether you live in an apartment in Cincinnati, Ohio or you spend your days and nights in a Manhattan luxury building, every month, you face a ton of bills: groceries, mortgage/rent, phone, internet, car payment, insurance, utilities… and more.

In most cases, you have options. You can pick and choose which providers you use and this could save you a few dollars on individual bills. But utilities are less flexible, and that could be why utilities are one of Americans’ largest annual expenses, with the average household spending almost $4,000 on utilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But don’t make the mistake of not seeking new options. It’s 2018 and technology exists to help save us energy and money. Here are a few ways you can do just that.

Update Your Bulbs

This is one of the most common and best energy tips you’ll get. You’ve likely been hearing about the energy saving benefits of LED and CFL bulbs for years. But have you actually tried to make the switch yet? According to Energy Star, if we all just replaced one bulb with a qualified CFL, we’d save enough energy to light up 3 million homes for a year and more than $600 million in annual energy costs. Wow!

Sure, CFL light bulbs cost a bit more than regular bulbs, but they use about 75% less of the energy and they’ll even last ten times as long. This is a no brainer.

Electrical Outlets

Think about how many gadgets you have plugged in throughout your home. How many can you count? Ten? More than ten? Either way you slice it, we all use electrical outlets every single day — and a lot of them to say the least. Anything you plug into your wall will suck energy out of your home, even when not in use. Instead of trying to remember to turn off your power strips each time you leave home, opt for the smart power strips that will automatically turn off electricity to the devices when you don’t it. Save electricity, save energy at home, save you devices and save money while doing all of the above.

Smart Thermostats

Let’s take a look at the Nest Learning Thermostat. This piece of machinery — basically just a little computer bolted to your wall and connected to your home Internet — will familiarize itself with your schedule and habits to adjust your house’s temperature to keep you comfortable while reducing unnecessary energy use.

To keep it simple, this thermostat will absolutely save energy and money. The Nest device will automatically adjust to your specifications and you can also control it to function on “away” and “eco” modes to ensure that your home doesn’t get too hot or too cold while people are away and while people are at home. By using the Nest device, you can be sure that you’re not wasting money on energy while you’re away. Also, controlling your temperature at home from a smartphone is an added benefit and a major convenience factor.

Inspect HVAC

According to EnergyStar, the average home loses up to 30% of its heated air to leaks. Let’s start with an inspection. Have a professional home inspector out to your place to make sure you aren’t losing money because of leaks. Also, make sure you’re using EnergyStar certified equipment. This way, you’ll know that your appliances are optimized for efficiency and will not be the cause of your energy wasting issues.

While you’re at it, perform an energy audit on the design of your home and layout of your furniture. Don’t block the air flow! When you arrange your furniture, make sure the air grills are not blocked. A simple change in layout of your furniture can reduce blockage of vents and air grills and help to fix the air flow issues in your home. This simple change can save you a fistful of dollars!

The Toilet Tank

A simple and underrated fix — the toilet tank. You can save water, energy and money by installing a low-flow toilet. Although this might cost you $300 upfront, it will help to save you money in the long run. Each flush shouldn’t be costing you more money than you’re willing to spend! To maximize your savings, hire an energy auditor and ask them if a low-flow toilet is worth your initial spend. Consulting the experts is never a bad idea.

All in all, money saving is important to all of us. You may have just overcome mortgage rejection to purchase your first home; or you might have finally bought the home of your dreams in your childhood neighborhood. Either way, continually saving money by making small tweaks around the house is a way to stay above water and keep your finances in check. Give it a go and see how you feel about saving more money each month!