I know no one is a fan of spending their hard earned money on bills – but there are a few monthly bills that just irritate me when I get online to pay them. Ones that I know I could keep down if I was a bit more pro-active but I always get too busy, and then I’m kicking myself when I see how much that bill is each month. The biggest one of those most annoying of all bills is the utility bill. I know we all need gas and electric to live our day-to-day lives, but I think some would be shocked at the amount I was paying each month just to heat our home and water, and turn on the lights!
I decided to be a bit more pro-active to see what I could do myself to help save money on the utilities – so I had a bit more extra money in my pocket each month. I was pleasantly surprised that these few minor things saved me a good chunk of change within the first 2 months, and I am still working on more ways to save more! Check out these tips that helped me save money – and energy!
Winter Energy Saving Tips
Cover the Floors. Bare floors, especially with little or no insulation doesn’t do much to keep the room warm. Carpet, or add rugs to rooms with wood, tile, or vinyl floors to add heat retention – and comfort. (no one likes to put their feet on a cold floor, right?!)
Change Filters. Changing the heating filters in your heating system each month will give you more efficiency, which will save you money in the long run.
Make Your Own Door Draft Stopper. Originally I was going to order some door draft stoppers online but why would I spend my hard earned money on some expensive product that number one I wasn’t sure would work for my home and two something I could make myself!
There are soo many different way to make your own door draft stoppers, but those who know me know I will go the easiest route. I don’t have a lot of time (or energy) to make anything too fancy (though there are many many ways to do it). So I made it simple – you need 3 things: Swimming pool noodle, old pillowcase, needle with thread.
Depending on the size of the pool noodle you will either need to cut it in half, or cut down the middle of the noodle. Even out the size and insert into the pillow case. You will want to measure the width of the door to see where you will need to sew the noodle into the pillow case.
After you do that, you just slide it under the door and voila! Your door draft stopper!
Turn Up the Temperature s-l-o-w-l-y. I’ve finally gotten it through my husband’s thick skull that you can’t come home freezing and turn the furnace up 10 degrees. Quickly raising the temp will activate the heat strip which uses a TON of energy which = a larger utility bill. Turn it up a degree or 2 at a time until you reach a comfortable temperature
Bundle Up. Ok no one wants to run around the house in winter coats, hats and gloves, but if it’s winter out you should have on long pants, long sleeves and some socks! I used to mock my Dad calling him a cheapskate who would jokingly tell us to add a layer when it got colder out..but I find myself doing the same thing. If the kids are sitting down watching T.V. and complaining about getting cold – tell them to grab a blanket or a broom (after all an active body stays warmer right?!)
Close Your Fireplace. A lot of people don’t realize that you need to close the flue up when not in use, and also if you install glass doors it will keep the cold air out!
Limit Portable Heaters. Though sometimes necessary (I have the draftiest room in the house, so I know) running a 1,500 watt heater can get expensive. Run it for awhile before bed and then turn it off, or have it set to turn off after a certain time to save you the extra expense.
Wrap the Windows. If you can’t afford new windows right now, there is a solution to the draft coming through them. Wrap them in insulation or even a plastic wrap to keep the draft from coming into your home. Though not the most attractive, it can help you save a TON of money on your heating bill, and you can always throw a cute curtain over them to block the view. I recommend leaving at least 1 window in each room unwrapped in case of an emergency though.
Turn it Down When Your Gone. Since I am gone anywhere from 8 -12 hours per day there is absolutely no sense in my furnace kicking on while no one is there to enjoy the warmth. I turn my thermostat down every day before I leave for work, and then up as soon as I get home. This saves a ton especially if you are gone from your home during the week.
Plan Projects with Energy Bills in Mind: Whenever you may decide to do some upgrades in your home, don’t forget to keep your utility bill in mind when doing so. Doing upgrades is fun, but make sure that you are proper insulating the room (walls and floors, etc) and that you are buying energy efficient lighting, and appliances. PG&E has a list of rebates, as well as refrigerator recycling programs, efficiency research and even a Money Saver Tool to help in your endeavors. A little extra work now, can go a long way in saving you money in the future!
Find more energy and money saving tips on PG&E’s website and don’t forget to enter their Instagram contest to win a Home Depot gift card, here’s what you need to do to enter
Follow @pacificgasandelectric on Instagram here: http://clvr.li/pgeinsta
Post to Instagram on any of the contest dates using the photo prompts for inspiration, and the hashtags #PGEhome #PhotoChallenge
Fill out the entry form on the contest microsite: http://clvr.li/pgehome
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.