So we have all read articles about how to save money. Everything from don’t go out to eat, to turning off the lights when you aren’t using them have been covered. There must be other household money saving tips though right? Of course there are! I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you a few household money saving tips that won’t cost you a penny. That’s right, unlike other ways to save like shelling out lots of cash for energy-efficient lightbulbs and putting solar panels on your roof, these household money saving tips won’t cost you a thing except a bit of your time.
Household Money Saving Tips – #1 Adjust Your Air Conditioning Thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat is probably the hardest thing my family has done to save money. Now I’m not saying that you need to turn off your air conditioning all together or anything, but the concept here is that the lower the temperature, the harder your AC unit has to work to maintain the arctic conditions in your home. Whenever your AC unit is running, your spending money. The Department of Energy estimates that on average each degree you change can equal approximately a 1% savings on your energy bill annually. For summer, they recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees and 62 degrees during the winter.
Our house was previously set at a constant 72 degrees. I swear some days you could hang meat in our dining room! When I researched the recommended temperatures I immediately walked over to the thermostat and set it to 78 degrees. That lasted all of an hour until the Mrs. vetoed my money saving endeavor. Undeterred, the next day, I decided to just change it by a degree. In an effort that was right out of a spy novel, I strolled up to the thermostat and quick pressed the “up” button and ran like hell! I didn’t want the Mrs. to know I was adjusting it again. Much to my surprise, a day or two went by and she hadn’t even noticed the change. While a single degree is an empty victory, we’re now up to 77 degrees! The secret to this and a few of the other household money saving tips is that have to make the change slowly. You’re body as well as your family is less likely to notice.
Household Money Saving Tips – #2 Use Fans And Check Direction
Again since we live on what some days seems to be the surface of the sun, this tip works well in conjunction with multiple household money saving tips. If you have ceiling fans, it’s a great idea to actually use them! I know many folks who have great, expensive, and ornamental fans that look like a work of art hanging from their living room ceiling. The funny thing though, I never see them actually turned on! By using a ceiling fan, you are circulating the existing air which makes you feel cooler. You know how the weathermen are always saying “It’s actually 65 degrees outside, but with the wind chill it feels more like 55!” (Don’t I wish in the middle of the summer!) It’s the same concept as wind chill. Fans don’t actually change the temperature, so be sure to turn them off if you leave a room, it’s all in your perception. It has been estimated that using ceiling fans can save around 40% on your overall cooling bill!
Did you know that your fan has a direction setting? According to CeilingFan.org It is recommended that during the summer, (or our perpetual Florida heat!) that your fan spin forward and push the air down. The hotter it is, the faster you want your fan to spin. If you’re looking up at your fan, it should be turning counter-clockwise. Flip the switch for wintertime when you want the warmer air to circulate upwards. You may get better results by using a slow or medium setting in the winter. Not bad as one of the FREE household money saving tips!
Household Money Saving Tips – #3 Take a Navy Shower
I was on the fence about putting this one on the list, but thought I should throw it in. As a man, I’m a bit more flexible when it comes to showering, but the Mrs. has much more hair to contend with. She may not necessarily jump on board with this one. Referred to as “Navy” showers, this household money saving tip can help bump up our energy savings as well. The DOE estimates that water heating can account for up to 12% of your overall energy bill. The less hot water you use, the less energy that’s required to heat it. The beauty of this household money saving tip is that it can help save you money regardless of what type of hot water heater type you have, either takes or tankless, electric or gas!
So how does the Navy shower? While out to sea fresh water can be a commodity, so they try to save every drop! The idea is to quick hop in the shower, get wet and quickly turn the water off. Once you’re wet you can lather up and scrub down. Then turn on the water again for a quick rinse off. While I know this is easy for me, it’s a bit more difficult for the Mrs. She has much more hair to deal with! Our shower head also has a push button that lets you turn it on and off without adjusting the temperature all over again.
Household Money Saving Tips – #4 Adjust Your Hot Water Heater Thermostat
Adjusting your hot water heater thermostat is a commonly touted trick to save some cash, but why? It’s pretty much the same concept as turning up the air conditioner thermostat. For a traditional hot water heater, you have a large tank of water, and whenever the temperature drops to below the thermostat setting, large heating elements kick on to start heating up your water. This is a constant cycle throughout the day and despite your hot water heater being insulated, it still loses heat. How long would a pot of hot water stay hot on your stove? It’s the same concept. Most hot water heaters have more than one heating element. It’s really important that if you adjust the setting on the top by a few degrees, you do the same for the bottom. There are some really crazy scientific explanations about thermodynamics, blah, blah, blah. Just remember to change both of them.
OK great idea and household moneysaving tips! But how do you do it? In all of the articles I have read, not once have I seen an explanation. It’s much easier to just show you.
For an Electric Hot Water Heater:
For a Gas Hot Water Heater:
Household Money Saving Tips – #5 Setup FPL’s On Call Program
This household moneys saving tip is unfortunately only for home owners who live in an FPL service area. Now if you are renting a house, you may be able to take advantage of some pretty awesome savings, but you will need permission from your landlord. That can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. With that being said it won’t cost you a dime! The FPL On Call program is only available for customers of Florida Power and Light so if you use another power company, you’re out of luck. There are particular service areas where this program is available, so you’ll want to checkout their site and plug in your address to see if it’s available in your area.
So what is it? the FPL On Call Program in a nut shell is a little box that FPL installs in your home (completely at their expense I might add) that gives them the ability to turn off some of your major appliances during times of peak usage. I know it sounds scary, but it’s a pretty good deal. In exchange for the power they wield over you (yes pun intended!), they give you a monthly bill credit regardless of wether or not they actually turn off your stuff. Now don’t worry, I’m not talking about turning off your refrigerator or lights, just some of your larger appliances. You as the home owner get to choose what you want included. The more stuff they can turn off, the more money you’ll get back monthly. You can choose to have your hot water heater, air conditioner, and pool pump on their service. You can earn back up to $137 annually if you select their extended turn off option.
Depending on the circumstances, you agree to let FPL shut down some of the largest energy consuming appliances in your home for up to 4 hours within a 24 hour period. We have had ours for years now and have only noticed an interruption once and it wasn’t a big deal. The house stayed cool for a bit and the hot water heater tank kept the water fairly hot.
None of these household money saving tips will cost you a penny, but you can start to see some real savings immediately! What else do you do to save cash around the house?