Looking for ways to save on utility bills may seem like a big task that requires major lifestyle changes. However, there are many small ways to reduce your energy and water usage day to day. These small changes can lead to big changes in your monthly bills, budget and savings – and they can even relieve stress on your home appliances, keeping them better maintained over time.

1. Get Your Ductwork Checked

Leaky ductwork is a big culprit for energy loss and overworking your air conditioning. Air escapes from leaks and often brings outdoor air in, making your air conditioner work harder to cool your home. If you notice a sharp spike in your energy bills when your AC is in use, leaky ductwork may be to blame. You may notice other signs like uneven cooling/hot spots, or dust that doesn’t seem to disappear even after cleaning and changing your filters. Calling an expert to inspect your ductwork and provide a solution will help you save money in the long run.

2. Use a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat adjusts to your schedule, making it a no-brainer for energy savings. You can set a time to either lower or raise the temperature in your home – when cooling, this means keeping your home at a slightly higher temperature when you aren’t present and reducing the temperature the hours you are home and need it most. Most smart thermostats are accessible via an app on your cell phone, so you can adjust it or make changes no matter where you are. This offers flexibility if your pre-set schedule changes. In addition, if your energy company uses a time-of-use model for billing, you can easily schedule temperature adjustments around peak hours so that you pay less.

3. Put a Time Limit on Your Water Usage

Limiting your shower time can help you keep your water bill in check. A standard showerhead uses about 2.5 gallons per minute, or 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower. Reducing your shower time means you’ll save on water and energy bills as less work is required from your water heater. Simply put, the shorter the shower the greater the savings.

4. Check For Leaks

A leaky faucet or showerhead over time can increase your water bill and waste hundreds of gallons of water a year. Getting those pesky leaks checked by a plumbing professional is a quick way to save. Leaky toilets can be even more wasteful, with a large leak using up to 200 gallons of water a day, and a slow leak using 30 gallons a day. If you notice a spike in your water bill, this issue could be the cause. If you suspect your toilet is leaking, it’s best to call a plumber quickly to alleviate the problem.

5. Replace Air Filters

It seems simple enough – all you need to do is throw away your used air conditioner filter and replace it with a new one. However, this routine task is frequently forgotten and can affect your energy usage more than you think. A dirty, clogged filter means that cool air can’t easily flow into your home. When Replacing it regularly ensures your air conditioner doesn’t have to work harder than necessary and reduces your energy consumption up to 15 percent.

6. Clean Your AC Coils

It’s normal for your AC coils to accumulate dust and grime over time. This grime, however, can actually begin to affect efficiency of your air conditioning system. Dirty coil has a reduction in heat transfer, meaning it can’t as easily draw heat from indoors to the outdoors. The extra work uses more energy and taxes your air conditioning. Which means it’s imperative to get your AC system checked and coils cleaned on a regular basis if you want to save on your energy costs.

7. Run Your Dishwasher at Night

Running your dishwasher at night is one the most effective ways to save money on your utility bills. Newer dishwasher models are now designed to be more efficient than hand washing your dishes. In fact, if you were to use your dishwasher every night instead of hand washing your dishes for about 10 minutes, on average you could save 100 gallons of water per week. That equates to yearly savings of over 5,000 gallons, which means more money goes back into your wallet.


If you’re looking to save around your house, the experts at Donley are here to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment or for answers to your HVAC and plumbing needs.