Adopt a few of these home tips to find a bit more cash each month. Your house gives you so much: Security, pride and shelter. But, with all that on the line, there are plenty of expenses that are important, and some are simply a waste. Here’s how to save money each month without putting a dime of home value at risk.
• Clean your lightbulbs — Who does that? Smart people. A dirty bulb emits 30 percent less light than a clean one. Dust off the bulb and fixture, and you might be able to cut back on the number or brightness of lights in each room without noticing any difference.
• Keep your fridge full — Solid items snuggled together retain the cold better than air and help keep one another cold — requiring less energy overall. Leaving town for a while, and the fridge is empty? Fill voids in the refrigerator or freezer with water bottles.
• Switch your bulbs to LEDs — The average light-emitting diode, LED, light bulb used five hours a day can save $10 to $20 in energy costs vs. an incandescent bulb. If you replace just five of your most-used incandescent bulbs, your savings will add up.
• Use power strips — Appliances like coffee makers, TVs and computers continue to suck power even when they’re off, adding 10 percent to your monthly utility bill and increasing the average household’s annual electric bill by $100 to $200. And did you know the AC adapter for your laptop keeps drawing power even if the computer isn’t plugged in? Stop this slow money burn by connecting them to an easy-to-switch-off power strip.
• Use a toaster oven when possible — Toaster ovens use 50 to 70 percent less energy than a full-size oven.
• Insulate your water heater — For about $30, an insulating jacket or blanket can shave 7 to 16 percent off your water heating costs for the year. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions to avoid creating a fire hazard.
• Wash clothes in cold water — Switching from hot to warm water will cut every load’s energy use in half, and you’ll reap even more savings from the temperature down to cold. In addition, your clothes will get just as clean from cold water, thanks to the efficiency of today’s detergents.
• Use the right dryer cycle — Using a high heat setting for each load, you could use more energy than you need. Almost all fabrics can be dried with a lower heat setting, such as the permanent press setting. It uses less energy and has the bonus of extending the life of your fabrics. Save the higher heat for items such as sheets and towels.
• Use homemade cleaners — Many commercial products rely on baking soda or vinegar for their cleaning power, so why not make your own? Oddly, you likely have many ingredients sitting in your cabinets or pantry right now.
• Cut back on laundry detergent — Never mind the barely visible measurement lines in the cap: You typically need only a tablespoon of detergent. And, clothes get cleaner when you use less because no soap residue is left behind.
This content is copyright 2022 Ohio Realtors. Read more at: https://www.ohiorealtors.org/prez-column-35-mon
Marlin Palich is president of Stark Trumbull Area Realtors, which serves Trumbull, Stark and Carroll counties.