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Before receiving my first utility bill, I constantly would run out of my apartment with all the lights on, my window still open, and the air conditioning running on blast. Soon, I realized these were all terrible habits. I made a conscious decision to keep my utility bill as low as I possibly could. There are quite a few things you can do to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes that many young adults do:

Turn down the air conditioning and the heat

This is one of the most obvious answers, but it is one of the hardest solutions. Keep the air between 72-74 degrees. If you get hot, use a fan to cool down. In the winter, keep the thermostat in the low 60s and use blankets and electric heaters to keep warm.

Buy light blocking curtains

When the sun is shining bright, it heats up a room quickly. Consider investing in some light blocking curtains for those bright summer days.

Check your windows and doors for leaks

Sometimes windows and doors aren’t as tightly secure as they should be. This can cause the cold air to escape in the summer and cold air to enter in the winter. Make sure your windows are firmly shut and there are no leaks in your doors. You can also buy a draft blocker to prevent this.

Hang your laundry

Drying your laundry takes a lot of time. It also sucks up a lot of energy. Consider hanging up your clothes to dry instead. You’ll save money, plus it will fill the room with a clean laundry scent.

Limit oven use in the summer

Ovens produce heat. In the summer, try to cook outside as much as possible or make recipes that don’t require an oven. Utilize a toaster oven because it’s smaller and uses less energy. In the winter, do the opposite and use your oven to add a little extra heat to your home.

Try not to use hot water

Heating up water uses a lot of energy. If you can bare it, try to take cooler showers. Also, do your laundry in cold water and avoid turning on the heat settings on your dishwasher.

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Unplug your devices

Make sure you don’t leave devices plugged in that you’re not using. A lot of appliances stay “on” in standby mode even when not in use and they use energy.

Set a timer on your TV

If you have to fall asleep with your TV on, set up a timer. It will turn off the TV when you’re asleep.

Use trees to your advantage

Trees are a great way to block out sunlight. Plant some large trees near your home to prevent sunlight from beating down and heating up your place in the summer.

Make sure your air filters are clean

Air filters should be replaced every 3 months. This is important regardless of season. If your air filters are dirty, your heating and air conditioning will have to work twice as hard which will use twice as much energy.

Stephanie F
FFL Cabinet Member