10 Smart Hacks That Will Actually Lower Your Water, Electric, and Gas Bills | 22 Words

Here's something we can all agree on: Bills are basically the worst.

Nobody likes seeing their hard-earned money go toward things like water, electricity, and gas bills (even though in most cases, you need all three in order to function).

Luckily, I've got some good news for you. Here are 10 things you can literally do today to lower your utility bills.

1. Make sure you're using your ceiling fan correctly.

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You know that little black switch on the side of your ceiling fan? Well, it's not just for decoration (it'd honestly be kind of weird if it was, right?). In the winter, flip the switch up, so the fan spins clockwise. That way, it will push the hot air that's risen back down on you and keep you nice and cozy.
In the summer, flip the switch down so the fan spins counter-clockwise. And regardless of the season, turn your fan off when you're not in the room. It doesn't actually cool the space; it just makes you feel cooler. (Plus, it uses unnecessary electricity, which is exactly what we're trying to avoid, here.)

2. Adjust your thermostat.

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Even a slight change to the temperature can save you mega bucks on your electricity bill. In the summer, try to keep the temperature hovering around 78 degrees (trust me; you can probably get used to not having the AC on full blast).
In the winter, aim for a temperature around 68 degrees. And break out the blankets and cozy slippers! If you can stand it, keep your house even colder whenever you leave it in the winter (and vice versa: hotter when you leave during the summer).
There's not really any point in paying to heat or cool a house that doesn't have anyone in it. (Obviously, don't do this if you're leaving pets in your house!) Now, let's talk about windows...

3. Lock in extra heat during the winter by putting insulation film on your windows.

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They are super easy to install and can easily save you all kinds of money when it comes to heating your house. If you've ever walked by your window and felt a slight breeze, window film will completely solve that problem.
There's also a type of window film that works perfectly during the warmer months to block heat and glare from entering your home through the windows. It reflects harmful UV rays but not natural light. It's a win-win!

4. Don't run your dishwasher until it's completely full.

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You waste a lot of water every time you run the dishwasher for a less-than-full load of dishes. Make sure to hold off until the dishwasher is completely full.
And while you're at it, make sure that you're loading your dishwasher in the most efficient way possible, with as many dishes as will possibly fit and still get clean. If you find yourself needing a clean dish before the washer is full, well, the sink is there for a reason! (And if that's a regular occurrence, it might be time to consider getting a smaller dishwasher.)

5. Get a rain barrel.

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Use a rain barrel or cistern to collect rainwater for use in your garden, yard, birdbath, or anywhere else rainwater could be handy. There's no point in paying for water from your hose when it literally falls from the sky for free! (Please note: Rain barrels and/or cisterns are not legal in all states or counties. Do your research before investing in one!) Here's another handy tip to lower your water bill...

6. Install aerators on your faucets.

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They are super easy to install all by yourself — all you have to do is screw them onto your faucet like a bottle cap. Alternatively, you can also completely replace your faucets (and showerheads, etc.) with models that use less water.
For the best savings, you're gonna want aerators for your bathroom faucets that release between .5 gallons and 1 gallon per minute. For kitchen faucets, 1.5 gpm should be good. Make sure you get the right size for the job; they're not one-size-fits-all!

7. Switch to LED bulbs.

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For a while it seemed like everyone was singing the praises of the CFL bulb. Now, though, we've moved on to LEDs. They're super efficient, last basically forever, and don't even cost that much (especially considering you replace way less often than old-school bulbs).
In the early days of LED bulbs, they all had a super annoying blue flicker, but these days, LEDs come in a variety of warmth and brightness levels. They can be used in any type of lamp or overhead light fixture.

8. Turn power strips off when you're not using them.

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Come on, you already know this one. Take a look around your house. How many tiny lights do you see lit up on things you're not currently using? I'm guessing it's probably at least 10. Obviously, those tiny lights indicate that there's power running to those electronics. If you're not using them, turn them off. An easy way to do this is to have everything plugged into a power strip and simply switch it off when the items aren't in use.

9. Get a door draft blocker.

This hack is similar to using that plastic film on your windows. There's most likely a small gap between the bottom of your exterior doors and the floor.
That problem is easily solved with a draft blocker or door snake. It keeps cold air out during the winter, and also keeps your AC-cooled air in during the summer.
Not only that, but a draft blocker also acts as a bug blocker. (Blocking bugs won't necessarily save you money on your utility bills, but come on. Nobody wants bugs, right?)

10. Put a dry towel in the dryer with your wet laundry.

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The less time it takes to dry your laundry, the less electricity it takes (you figured that out already, I'm sure). Putting a dry towel in with your wet laundry can shorten dry time by a significant amount.
An even better option would be electing to dry your clothes on a clothesline. And, whenever you can, wash your clothes using cold water instead of warm or hot. After all, it takes energy (and money!) to heat that water.