Saving money on utilities by conserving electricity and water can also be great for the environment, since you’re doing the planet a favor when you use less energy and resources. However — as anyone who’s ever yelled at a teenager to get out of the shower knows — changing habits can be challenging. Luckily, with just a few inexpensive home tweaks, you can start saving money without much effort at all.
1. Switch to LED Bulbs
The next time you need to replace a bulb, splurge on a new LED version. They use significantly less electricity and last a lot longer than CFLs, making them a great investment. You may balk at the initial higher price tag, but you won’t regret only needing to buy one or two on an as-needed basis.
2. Turn Down Your Water Heater
If you have an old tank water heater, you know it requires a lot of energy to maintain a high temperature. You can safely turn it down to 120 degrees to cut your electric or gas costs.
3. Lower Your Thermostat
For every degree you turn down the heat, you save about three percent on your heating costs. For a small investment, install a programmable thermostat and turn the heat way down while you’re at work for even bigger savings.
4. Use a Smart Power Strip
Smart power strips are perfect for televisions and computers, which often have energy-sucking auxiliary items like DVD players and printers attached to them. Plug your TV, DVD player and game consoles into the command strip, and your TV accessories will be turned off automatically when the TV is shut down for the night.
5. Install Low-Flow Shower Heads
Saving water is crucial in drought-prone areas, and cutting back your usage will also save you money on your next water bill. Switch to a 1.75 gallon-per-minute shower head to save potentially thousands of gallons of water per year. As a bonus, you’ll also save on the energy required to heat that water.
6. Add a Faucet Aerator
Faucet aerators are little screens that screw into the end of your faucets and force air into the water. Even though you feel like you’re getting a lot of pressure, you’re using less water overall, since the screen restricts the flow of water. These aerators cost just a dollar or two and are a snap to install.
These little changes will have you saving money around your house in no time, and all it takes is a Saturday trip to the hardware store for some inexpensive supplies; you’ll actually be smiling when you get your next utility bill.