Little-Known Ways to Save on Your Utility Bills This Winter
December 17th, 2021
Winter is a time of the year when your utility bills can tend to be more expensive due to the costs of heating your home. Gas, electricity, and water work together to keep us warm during the winter. However, there are ways to cut down on utility costs this winter without sacrificing the comfort of a heated house.
Average Utility Costs
Utilities are usually grouped into six categories: water, electric/gas, heating & cooling, garbage disposal, phone, and internet/cable.
Water bill averages vary by state. Using about 100 gallons per person per day, a four-person family in the United States in 2019 paid about $70 for their monthly bill.
Electricity and gas bills comprise the bulk of what you pay. The average family electricity bill in 2019 was about $115. The gas bill average varies greatly by state, but it hovers close at about $100 per month. These two together create your collective heating bill, since warming your home requires both electric and gas services.
On average, your base expenses will cost about $400. This doesn’t include disposal, phone, internet, and cable costs. This number fluctuates a lot depending on where you live, but you can also mitigate it through certain home lifestyle choices.
Let’s talk about some of the easy things you can do to lower your utility bills for the winter.
6 Money-Saving Tricks for Winter
There are a handful of ways to reduce electric, gas, and heating costs.
Limit Air Circulation in Your Home
Using the heater is a fast, immediate solution for warming your home, but you don’t need to use it very often. Houses naturally trap heat from the sunlight that comes through windows. The more open your home is, the better air circulates throughout, which ends up dropping the internal temperature.
To limit the air circulation in your house and warm it up, turn your thermostat down two or three degrees and close all the windows and doors. Keep the curtains open to absorb sunlight. You can also close the air vents in each room to prevent further circulation. You’ll begin to notice your home heating up even though you haven’t used any gas by turning on the heater.
Switch to Electric Heaters
Standing electric heaters cost less per use and are more efficient than your home gas heater. There’s no need to heat rooms that you aren’t using, so move your electric heater with you from room to room or keep several to turn on as you have the need.
Try Using LED Bulbs for Lighting
In many ways, electricity isn’t as optional as gas. After all, you can’t live in the dark. However, LED bulbs are far more energy-efficient lighting solutions than incandescent bulbs. They use over 75% less energy than their standard counterparts. If you don’t want to raise your house temperature but need a strong light, these are the right choice.
Illuminate Your Home With Natural Sunlight or Candles
Natural sunlight will brighten and heat your home effectively. Keep your curtains open and your windows closed, and you’ll begin to feel the temperature rise without exerting any gas. Lighting candles will have a similar effect, but be sure to monitor them periodically.
Limit Your Time in the Shower
A hot shower can feel great during the winter, but the Environmental Protection Agency states that showers account for 17% of your monthly water bill. Limiting your showers to five or ten minutes could save more money than you expect.
Use an Electric Kettle or Stove to Heat Water
During the winter, your home faucet takes a while to heat up. Instead of letting it run, try using an electric stovetop or kettle to heat the water you need for cooking, coffee, and tea. Expending electricity is more efficient than wasting water or using gas.