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How to Save on Your Utility Bill

January 3rd, 2013 Personal Finance

Cutting down on gas, electric and water use in your house can not only help you save money, but it can help the environment too. Use some of these tips to keep your utility bill at a manageable level.

1. Watch your water. Saving money on water is pretty easy as long as you don't mind making a few changes to your routine. In the bathroom, try to minimize the number of showers you take or the length of your showers. Install a shower head with a lighter flow to limit the amount of water you use and turn it off completely when you're soaping up or shaving. Don't run the faucet while you're brushing your teeth and make sure you fix any leaks in plumbing. Try to flush your toilet as little as possible.

2. Conserve electricity. Electricity is another utility you can easily monitor. Unplug every electronic device and appliance that you're not using. Turn lights off in rooms that you're not using, and try using as much natural light as you can before turning them on. In the summer, when many people use the most electricity to keep their houses cool, there are alternative methods. Keep all of your shades and curtains drawn to avoid letting in lots of hot sunlight and try using plants as shade indoors. Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning when possible. If you do use air conditioning, set your thermostat to 80 degrees when it's on.

3. Trap heat in winter. Saving money on gas is useful in the winter, when many homes use a lot of gas to stay warm. Open your shades and curtains to let in sunlight and to help warm your house, and shut doors to rooms that aren't being used to avoid losing heat. Set your hot water heater at 120 degrees and try to use cold water whenever possible. You'll notice a decrease in your bill.