Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated February 21, 2009)
Many of our financial strains come from the build up of small bills and money obligations. One of those requisite monthly bills that comes in the mail is your utility bill which comprises of your electricity, heating, and cooling. Fortunately for you there are ways you can easily make good difference in your utility bill that won't make a huge dent in any of your normal routines.
One of the major things you should do is simply to turn off your lights. If you can keep the majority of your lights off when you're not using them then you'll be using a significantly less amount of electricity than if you keep them on all the time. If you're like me and you enjoy a few mood lamps here and there that's fine, but don't overdo it and don't keep on the bigger lights you don't need. Electricity is one of those small things that builds up and can make a big impact in what you pay on your utility bill.
You can also be aware of the heat and cooling you use. In the winter, don't keep your heat on twenty-four hours a day and you don't have to make your house an oven either. Maintain the thermostat at a comfortable level but not one that's obviously roasting; if you're still cold, even when the heat is on go put on another sweater. Another part of heating is your hot water so be aware of leaving hot water running and you might want to invest in an eco-friendly showerhead which can also prove to be friendly to your bill.
In the summertime if you have air conditioning by all means use it but you can reduce the intensity and time you use it if you also utilize fans throughout the house to bring in cool air at night and to circulate the air conditioned air. If you want you can also opt for a swamp cooler and attic fan combo instead of refrigerated air conditioning. While it still uses electricity, swamp coolers and attic fans use less than air conditioning systems because they don't go through the entire house.
While your utility bill may be a necessary part of your monthly financial obligations, you can take steps to reduce that bill and to make your home more electrically and fiscally efficient. If you can simply turn off the lights you don't use and be more aware of how you're using your heating and cooling systems then you can produce a noticeable difference in what you pay for electricity every month!
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