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  • Writer's pictureChad Eliason

7 Tips to Lower Your Monthly Utility Costs

As we transition from winter to spring in the Shuswap, take the time to give your home a utility efficiency review. A few small changes in your overall consumption can create hundreds of dollars per year in utility bill savings. Consider these tips to reduce your monthly utility costs as a whole;

Water Consumption

This consumption trick isn’t rocket science; turn the taps off. Though it sounds simple, we catch ourselves running the water excessively while washing dishes, brushing our teeth and staying in the shower for far too long. Start by turning the taps off while brushing twice daily. This conscious effort not only supports healthy savings habits, but you’ll also contribute to countering the growing global water concerns.

Water Tank & Temperature

An average of 13 percent of your home’s electricity is associated with heating water. To cut some of this energy consumption, set your water heater to under 140 degrees. Some utility companies will recommend the temperature be set as low as 120 degrees to maximize water heating costs. You can also cut your electricity bill significantly by switching to a tankless hot water heater when the time comes to replace your current model.

LED Lights

LED technology provides many additional advantages over incandescent, fluorescents, and compact fluorescent lamps and lighting devices. Some benefits include an exceptionally longer lifespan (approx. 60,000 hours), significantly lower energy consumption (90% more efficient), reduced maintenance costs, and higher safety.

Programable Thermostat

Keeping comfortable temperatures while you are home is a must; but while you’re away from your home set your baseline temperature a few degrees lower. Direct Energy published figures estimating savings of 1 percent for each degree the thermostat is adjusted per 8 hours and noted that turning thermostats back 7 to 10 degrees from their normal settings for 8 hours per day could achieve up to 10% in annual savings.

Cable, Internet and Phone Charges

It sure feels great to bundle up by the TV after a long day; but consider swapping your cable for other platforms at 10% of the investment. With so many traditional television alternatives to choose from; Netflix, Crave, Apple, Prime Video, Hayu and more, there really are endless options for those relaxing couch sessions all while saving bank. Some extra saving suggestions include; reducing your cell phone data package during the season you are at home on WIFI most often, shopping the market for competitive services, and eliminating unnecessary add-ons.

Optimize Window Performance

Energy-efficient blinds and curtains can help to hold your furnace’s hard work inside your home. Drawing your curtains during the day and utilizing the lower thermostat settings can help to optimize day-time efficiencies. When curtains are no longer enough to trap air from leaving through drafty old windows, consult a local window supply and installation professional to visit for a complimentary consultation. Window installation is a large investment, one that not only helps with heating costs but also adds to the overall value of your home as an owner or seller.

Weather Stripping

Protect your home from a sneaky draft by replacing the weather-stripping on your exterior doors. For under $20 per door, this investment earns itself back by containing heat during the winter months, serving as a barrier to hold your air conditioning in during the summer months and acting as a deterrent for pesky insects seeking a cozy new home.

Take this newfound time indoors to review your monthly obligations, streamline your spending and maximize your savings.

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