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  • Save Money This Summer, Part III: Do it for Free

    We scoured the internet for some more money and energy savers. This time, we kept to very small changes that are easily doable and cost you nothing to do.

    1. Tweak your water heater: TheDailyGreen advises adjusting your water heater to a lower temperature (140° to 120°), which can yield a cost savings of about 6 to 10%. Although it might take a little getting used to the temperature change, it costs you nothing upfront, so there’s no “it will pay for itself in ____ years.” If your initial investment is zero, and you STILL save money, I don’t know why you wouldn’t do this immediately.
    2. Unplug if it’s not being used: Many of us have that one trusty socket in the house that we keep our chargers plugged into. When our phones or iPods get run down, we top up the battery and leave the charger attached to the wall, for the next charge. The out-of-use charger still sucks up energy, and reports show that about 8% of our electric bills are unused, wasted electricity. This one is so simple; rip it out of the wall if it’s not in commission. This will do your wallet a favour and give a little nod to the environment without even interrupting your routine.
    3. Wash a full load: This is also another simple one, but can make a big difference if you don’t do this already. Your machines use the same amount of water regardless of how much laundry or how many dishes are in there, so reducing the number of loads will save you money. Experiment with how much you can pack into your dishwasher and still have an effective wash (overpacking the machine will not clean all dishes successfully). Oftentimes, the dryer can have a much bigger capacity than the washer (at least it does at my house). If this is the case, try running two loads in the washer and put both loads in the dryer at once. This has saved me: a lot of unnecessary dryer time, the extra bit of effort unloading the dryer twice, and of course a little bit of $$.

    These three fixes are incredibly easy to do. Many still resist ‘greener’ options because they cost more at first and do not consider the long term savings over the higher price tag. Parts 1 and 2 of the “Save Money this Summer” series were also associated with increasing home values in the real estate market. Although these fixes may not add value to your home, they are simple ways to save money. Who doesn’t want to do that? Follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook for the latest updates.

    photo courtesy of o5com

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