10 Ways To Save On Utilities In Pittsburgh, PA.
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10 Easy Ways to Cut Back Your Utility Bill in Pittsburgh, PA

Pennsylvania can have some pretty extreme weather conditions that lead to outrageous utility bills. You may wonder if any cost-cutting measures can be practiced to reduce your utility spending—which is why we have put together this list of the 10 best ways to reduce your electric costs.

1. Turn Off Your Lights

It’s one of the simplest—and yet overlooked—things you can do: turn off the lights you are not using inside your home. There is no reason to sit in the dark, but there is also no need to use excess energy. It’s hard to make such a drastic change, especially with kids in the house who love to turn lights on (and keep them on!). Consider making it a game (something fun) to challenge them to keep the lights off.

Another thing you can do is change the types of lightbulbs you use. The old-fashioned incandescent bulbs are energy hogs! Consider updating to new LED bulbs and other styles that last much longer and cost less. Another thing: task lighting is an excellent option to avoid using large lights. Dimmers can decrease wattage use as well as give you just enough light to do the things you need. With some retraining and budget shopping, you can make a big cut with lighting alone.

2. Use a Programmable Thermostat on Your HVAC Unit

Your HVAC system uses a tremendous amount of energy. Wade Heating, Cooling, & Geothermal recommends that customers switch from a traditional thermostat to a programmable one. The difference is that there is no reason to heat or cool your home when you are not there. Did you know that turning your thermostat up to 78 degrees or higher in the summer can mean significant savings for your wallet? On the other hand, turning the thermostat down in the winter can save you about three percent of total utility consumption.

While it may seem feasible to turn the manual thermostat up and down according to your needs, the fact is that you will likely forget. The cost of a programmable thermostat is inexpensive, but it’s so worth the price. Increase your energy-saving levels with just a little money out of pocket.

3. Lower Your Hot Water Heater Temperature

Your water heater can consume a tremendous amount of energy, especially if you have an electric unit. Never allow your water temperature to be below 120 degrees; any lower than that and you risk bacteria growth! Sure, you could switch to a gas heater. But the best option is a tankless water heater: hot water on demand is more energy-efficient—and there will be no more cold showers when the person ahead of you takes too long.

4. Let The Sunshine In

As the sunshine of summer floods the Pittsburgh area, open your blinds and curtains and let in all that warm, natural light. Did you know that Mother Nature can help you save money on your bills? You want to let the light in without getting a glare. Natural light should come in and bounce off the ceiling. Blinds can help you angle the light in the needed direction. The sun can increase the warmth of a space, and it provides natural light that is free to use. Though this will only give you trivial savings, every little bit helps; in the winter, the sunlight can help heat a space.

5. Replace Your HVAC Unit

Okay, so replacing your HVAC unit is something you probably never considered when you think of saving money. Most people think their system will run forever and leave it to time and chance. A unit that is 20 years old may still be running, but it could be driving your utility bills up higher than average.

The new systems have a SEER rating and are energy-efficient: the higher the score, the more efficient the system. Did you know that a new HVAC unit can usually pay for itself in savings over a period? Most people notice a difference immediately when switching out their old unit. Wade Heating, Cooling, & Geothermal can service or install a new heating and cooling system for you; besides, if you need ductless air conditioning in an older home, our licensed technicians can help.

6. Change Your HVAC Filters Often

Who would think that the little air filter in your HVAC system could impact your utility bills? A filter should be checked and cleaned or changed every month or every few months. Each unit has different requirements based on the filter and system, although, if you are not regularly maintaining this filter, then you actually may be costing yourself a great deal of money down the road. A clogged filter impedes the airflow and causes the system to work harder, which can cause the machine to require more energy to run, all the while shorting the life of your unit. Tried and true, changing out your HVAC filters often can make a significant difference in your bills.

7. Use Your Dryer Less

Even though new dryers use less energy, consider that the cost of air drying is free. While some things need a tumble on the drying cycle, other things can be hung up to airdry. Challenge yourself to hang up more items or use a clothesline outside. Nothing smells fresher than sheets or blankets that have blown in the wind all day. Another thing you can do is use the highest-spin cycle possible on your washer to ensure that your clothes won’t need to dry as long too.

8. Maintain Your Refrigerator

Have you checked the settings on your refrigerator or freezer lately? Outside of your HVAC unit, your refrigerator consumes a lot of your home’s energy. Adjust the thermostat per the manufacturer’s settings. There’s no need to have soda icy or water bottles freezing inside your refrigerator. If your unit is set on the lowest setting, you just waste money in energy costs.

9. Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are an excellent item to help keep the air circulating in your home. They can work with the air conditioning system to help keep the house comfortable. They can be used in the winter or summer to keep a constant temperature. Circulating the air can keep the AC unit from kicking on as much, which is an excellent way to save money.

10. Turn Off Appliances Not in Us

Rather than turning on the stove, use the microwave to do more cooking. Microwaves are energy efficient and run on a 110-volt versus a 120-volt current. Also, turning off things like an iron, coffee pot, and the television when you are done can help you save money. Anything that is not in use should not be on.

Using some of these cost-cutting methods, you can join other families in Pittsburgh that are saving money. As you can see from this article, your air conditioning system is a significant energy consumption component. Whether you need help with a furnace or a ductless air conditioning system, Wade Heating, Cooling, & Geothermal is here to help!

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