When you search for ways to save money on your energy bills, it’s common to run across the same advice over and over: Upgrade to new, energy-efficient appliances.
Of course, that is good advice. Energy-efficient appliances can make a huge difference in your energy bill. But it’s also a significant expense up front. What if upgrading appliances isn’t in your budget right now? Can you still save energy on the appliances you have now?
Yes. And we have three hacks to prove it.
Try these hacks to lower your energy bill without blowing your budget or upgrading your appliances.
Hack one: Keep your freezer full.
This one surprises a lot of people. Wouldn’t a full fridge and freezer mean the appliances need to work harder? On the contrary! Food acts as insulation. When food is already the proper temperature, it helps keep the whole space at the proper temperature. So if your freezer is empty except for one lonely bag of frozen peas you keep around to put on bumps and bruises, you could be paying the price for all that extra, wasted energy. (Bonus: When your roommate, spouse, or mom complains that you need to clean out the freezer, you can tell them you’re just saving energy! Just keep those expiration dates in mind.)
Hack two: Find out if you can wash your laundry in cold water. (Yes, all of it.)
Here’s a super sneaky trick: Check the temperature of the cold water that comes out of your tap. If it’s at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit, go ahead and wash all of your laundry using cold water. Most of us were taught that you need to wash laundry on warm in order to really get it clean, but that’s an outdated notion. Modern laundry detergents are formulated in a way that the enzymes needed to clean will activate as long as the water is at least 60 degrees. (It’s worth warning that those of us in Minnesota might have tap water that runs colder than that, especially in the winter. But it’s worth a test!)
Hack three: Ask your energy company about off-peak pricing.
This one’s genius. Many energy companies offer a program that will let you save on your energy bill if you run your major appliances (think: dishwasher and laundry) at night, during “off-peak” hours. Off-peak simply means the hours when most people aren’t using their appliances, so overall demand is lower. You might not even have to be a night owl to take advantage. For example, depending on the hours, you may just need to wait until bedtime to start the dishwasher rather than running it right after dinner. Ask your energy company if they have the program! Note that these programs often charge users more if they do choose to run their appliances during peak hours. But if you’re up for a shift in a routine (or already keep this routine but aren’t being compensated for it), find out if the program’s available to you!
These three hacks are just a snapshot of how you can save money on your energy bills. We’re full of solutions at Bonfe, and we’d be happy to help.