If you are a homeowner or your rent your home, you know that their are many costs of living. Utility bills can grow exponentially if you are not careful. These five tips, provided by This Old House, are a great way to save throughout the year on costs.
1) Shorten your dryer-vent hose.
Be sure to disconnect it and vacuum it out first. Then trim the hose length so that it’s just long enough for you to pull the dryer a few feet out from the wall. A short and unobstructed line makes your dryer run more efficiently.
Savings: $25 a year on electric, gas, or propane
Bonus: Your clothes will dry about 20 percent faster
2) Close your closet doors.
By closing your closest doors, you are lowering the square footage you’re trying to heat or cool. Shutting closets along exterior walls also helps to insulate the house.
Savings: About $50 per year off your energy bills
Bonus: You and your guests won’t see closet clutter
3) Turn down the thermostat on your water heater.
It’s probably set at 140 degrees F to shorten the wait time for a steamy shower. But 120 or even 110 degrees is plenty hot and can save you money in the long run.
Cost: A few minutes with a screwdriver in the utility room.
Savings: $30 or more per year on gas, oil, electricity, or propane
Bonus: Your kids are less likely to scald themselves if the max water temperature is 120.
4) Replace central-air-conditioning filter.
If you replace the central-air-conditioning filter every month during the summer it will keep air flowing freely through the ducts and reduce strain on the blower motor.
Cost: About $11 for three filters
Savings: $40 or more on cooling costs
Bonus: New filters keep dust and mold from collecting on condenser coils, extending the equipment’s life.
5) Insulate hot-water lines.
It is easy to insulate hot-water lines with preformed foam tubes that fit right around the pipes, thanks to a slit along their length.
Cost: 29 cents to 35 cents per foot of insulation, depending on pipe dimensions.
Savings: $50 per year on energy
Bonus: Halving the wait for hot water to reach far away faucets.
Information from ThisOldHouse.com by Josh Garskof