These days, many Americans are feeling the pinch due to rising rates of inflation. It may be even worse for those of us in California. In The Golden State, the cost of living is more than 42% higher than the nationwide average. Overall, the cost of living in California ranks the third-highest among states.
So, we’ve got some ways how to save money on utilities. While some of our money-saving tips may only save you a little money, when combined, they can add up to a lot!
1. Turn Off Your Taps Properly
Have a drippy faucet? O does a member of your household frequently fail to turn them completely off? A faucet can drip at a rate of up to 15 gallons a day and you’ll see that in your water bill. Be sure everyone makes an effort to close the taps properly, and if you have a leak, repair it. Otherwise, it’s not just water going down the drain, but money!
2. Use Low-Flow Showerheads
Replacing a conventional showerhead will cost a little money upfront, but installing a low-flow model can significantly reduce water use (and your water bill). Low-flow showerheads are available at just about any hardware store, and they’re easy to install.
3. Practice Good Bathroom “Water Etiquette”
Set a shower time limit in your home to reduce water consumption and water bills; a simple timer near the shower will let household members know when it’s time to get out of the shower. Turn off the faucet when shaving and bruising your teeth. Read more tips in our blog on California water conservation.
4. Find and Fix Hidden Leaks
Some water leaks are easily noticeable, but others are “out of sight, out of mind.” So, do some sleuthing for hidden leaks. Try turning off every tap and appliance in the home (and outside spigots, too) and check your water meter to see if it’s running. If it is, that’s a sure sign of a leak somewhere in the home. A Sacramento plumber can help you identify where it’s coming from.
5. Prevent Buildups in Drains
It’s common not to pay attention to our drains until they’re damaged or clogged. Then, a repair can get pricey. Avoid this and save money on utilities repair through maintenance. That means pouring a cup of baking soda and vinegar into them at least once a month (avoid harmful drain cleaners).
6. Maintain Your Pool
Are you a lucky homeowner with a pool? Be sure to maintain it to avoid costly repair. To save money now, be sure to turn off water features (waterfalls, deck jets, etc.) when they’re not in use. Do you run your pool filter 24/7? That can get costly. Instead, only turn it on once per day for proper water turnover and cleaning, and then again when the pool is going to be used.
Lastly, consider an energy-efficient pump. Most conventional pool pumps run at one speed, which wastes energy on low-intensity tasks, such as filtration. Installing a variable speed pump can save you more than you might think throughout the lifetime of your pump.
7. Shop Hand-Washing Dishes
Get this: Washing dishes by hand consumes 4-5 times more water than dishwashers. Yes, there was a time when dishwashers used a lot of water. But today, the Department of Energy regulates how much water modern dishwashers can use. Any dishwasher manufactured since 2013 is limited to using five gallons of water. On the other hand, the US Geological Survey estimates that it takes anywhere from 9 to 27 gallons of water to hand-wash a load of dishes.
Also, according to Consumer Reports, rinsing dishes before putting them into the dishwasher is a waste of time and money too, since most modern dishwashers work better on un-rinsed dishes. It’s also a good idea to wait until the dishwasher is full before running it.
8. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Want to really save money on utilities? Many water heaters are installed with a pre-set thermostat of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C). However, most households only need it set at a maximum of 120 F. Lowering this setting can save hundreds of dollars a year! Plus, adjusting a water heater’s temperature is quick and easy (read how to do it here). Be sure to check the owner’s manual for instructions to adjust it (and shut off the circuit breaker when you do get to work to avoid a shock).
9. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Wash clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot. Almost 90% of washing machines’ energy consumption is spent heating the water, according to EnergyStar.gov. In addition, wait until you have a full load of clothes (but down overload your washing machine, either).
10. Clean Your Dryer’s Lint Trap
Many people fail to clean their dryer’s lint trap between laundry loads. Removing the lint helps ensure proper airflow, which can improve the dryer’s efficiency. Save even more money by air-drying your clothes!
11. Wash Dishes and Clothes During Off-Peak Hours
Many energy companies charge extra for electricity during their “peak hours,” which see increased energy usage. If your company offers time-of-use plans, you can save money by running large appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine early in the morning or late at night.
12. Water Your Lawn/Plants Outside of Peak Sunlight Hours
The best time to water is early in the morning or at dusk. This gives plants to have more time to soak up the water and requires less water to be used for watering. When watering during the day, much of the water evaporates from the sun, which wastes water and money.
Need Plumbing Help? Call Sacramento’s Plumbing Experts!
If you suspect a leak, need to replace some utilities or need pipe repair, the experts at Express Sewer & Drain can help. Here’s one more money-saving tip: if you need pipe repair and want to save on plumbing, we can perform alternatives to invasive “dig-and-replace” repair, such as trenchless pipe repair (pipelining). Going trenchless can help you save as much as 30% on pipe repair, compared to outdated, invasive repairs. Read more in our blog 5 Ways to Save Money on Pipe Repair.
Have some of your own ideas on ways to save money in 2022? Let us know in the comments – and don’t forget to grab some money-saving coupons below!