Seven Ways You & Your Roommate Can Save Money on Utility Bills

While living with roommates may help lower your rent, it can be costly in other areas. Multiple people living under the same roof can lead to significantly higher utility bills. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to reduce utility costs without making major lifestyle changes. Read below to find out how you and your roommates can save!

Save Utility Bills, Utility Bills, Saving Tips, Lifestyle
Seven Ways You & Your Roommate(s) Can Save Money on Utility Bills
[ image: shutterstock by tommaso79 ]


1. Install a Ductless Mini Split

One way to decrease your heating and cooling costs is by installing a ductless mini split HVAC system. These highly efficient air conditioners not only lower your energy costs but lead to increased comfort and health as well. They are available in single and multi-zone systems, meaning that you and your roommates can each have your own air conditioner in your respective areas. These can be adjusted independently of each other, which allows you to create your own desired indoor climate without impacting the other areas. 

Through smartphone applications and smart thermostat pairings, they can also be programmed into temperature cycles. These cycles increase and decrease airflow, temperature, and other settings in timed intervals to increase your system’s already heightened efficiency and decrease wasted energy. They also improve your indoor air quality by removing harmful airborne materials such as dust, dirt, debris, moisture, and more.

2. Unplug Appliances

Appliances that remain plugged in when not in use continue to consume lower amounts of electricity. These “phantom loads” are not only wasteful, but can lead to significantly higher electric bills over time. Fortunately, unplugging appliances in addition to turning them off will reduce your electricity consumption and, in turn, your bills. 

If you consider unplugging appliances this month and use Just Energy Texas' option of adding renewable-energy credits to your bill, you'll not only notice a difference, but you'll also be helping by reducing your carbon footprint on the planet!

While it may seem tedious to unplug every single electronic appliance after each use, utilizing power strips can simplify the process. Appliances that remain in “standby” mode when turned off are the biggest culprits of phantom loads and benefit the most from power strips. This includes entertainment systems, such as televisions, gaming consoles, cable boxes, and sound equipment, in addition to printers and other appliances. 

Save Utility Bills, Utility Bills, Saving Tips, Lifestyle
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3. Utilize Natural Light

If possible, utilize as much natural light as possible in your home. The sunlight can heat and brighten your home, which will allow you to periodically turn off light bulbs and lower your heating system. This leads to lower energy consumption and bills in both the short and long term. 

Opening windows or doors and purchasing mirrors are the simplest ways to increase your natural light exposure, but there are other more extensive methods. Solar tubes, skylights, and enlarging windows are other ways, but some of these may require a bit of handy construction skills or professional help. 

In addition to lower energy bills, increased natural light exposure has many other benefits. It creates a very pleasant and comfortable indoor ambiance. Natural light can also help increase energy and focus while enhancing mental and physical health by lowering stress and anxiety, boosting your immune system, and increasing Vitamin D exposure. 

4. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Replacing and upgrading your light bulbs is another excellent way to decrease your energy bills. Certain traditional light bulbs do not last very long and consume much more electricity than necessary. Fortunately, there are several types of highly efficient and reasonably priced light bulbs available. 

LED, CFL, and Halogen Incandescents are three energy-efficient light bulb types. These highly efficient light bulbs consume anywhere from 20% to 80% less energy than traditional light bulbs, which leads to significantly lower utility costs. 

They also have much longer lifespans than traditional types, meaning you save money by not needing to replace your bulbs as frequently. If you cannot increase natural light exposure in your home or apartment for whatever reason, energy-efficient light bulbs are an excellent alternative and offer similar benefits, such as a more pleasant indoor atmosphere and reduced headaches or eye stress. 

5. Run Full Dishwasher and Washing Machine Loads

Some tend to run the dishwasher and washing machine at their convenience, regardless of the load size. However, this habit can be very wasteful and lead to higher water bills. You and your roommates should only run the dishwasher and washing machines for full-sized loads. These two appliances both use a significant amount of water during each operation. Reducing the number of runs for each will pay off in both the short and long term. This is a simple habit that helps decrease your water usage and costs. 

6. Take Shorter Showers

Encouraging shorter showers in your household is another way to lower your water bill. According to Boston University, an average shower uses about five gallons of water per minute. Therefore, shortening your shower time by just two minutes can save ten gallons of water per shower. The more time you cut out of your shower routine, the more money you will save on your water bills.

Using colder water is one way to reduce your time spent in the shower, as you will not want to spend as much time in a cold shower. You can also time your shower through alarms or song lengths while listening to music. 

Save Utility Bills, Utility Bills, Saving Tips, Lifestyle
[ image: shutterstock by pavlo s ]

7. Cut the Cord

Depending on your household’s television watching habits, you may be unnecessarily paying for cable. If your internet service comes with a cable subscription but you find yourself not watching it enough to justify paying for it, cut the cord! You can shop around to find a better deal on an internet service without an unnecessary cable subscription. Some deals even offer higher-quality internet for a lower price without cable, so be sure to research before picking a new provider. 

Be Better Off

These simple yet effective habits can significantly decrease your different utility bills. With lower energy bills, you and your roommate’s can allocate money elsewhere throughout the house. You can upgrade your house through an appliance repair, upgrade, or an impulse purchase, or simply save your share for yourself! Either way, you’ll be better off!

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