Make These Three Changes Over the Weekend and Save Money in 2020

A new year is the perfect time for setting goals and improving your quality of life in a big way. What if you could make a few small changes in your home that cost almost nothing upfront, take no time at all, and could save you up to $200 on your utility bills in 2020?

Well, the great news is that with these three swaps, you’ll be well on your way to lowering your monthly utility bills and decreasing your carbon footprint. Start the year off right and make early progress on your money-saving resolutions.

Reset Your Water Heater’s Base Temperature 

If you were to turn on your shower with the water temperature as high as it can go, would you be afraid to stick your hand in because the water would be too hot and may scald you? If you answered “yes,” then the temperature setting on your water heater is likely too high and you’re wasting money. 

Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home and typically accounts for 18% of your monthly energy costs. Even though the Department of Energy recommends most Americans set their water heater’s temperature to 120°F, many of us have never adjusted the temperature from the default manufacturer setting of 140°F.

A drop from 140°F to 120°F, can save you anywhere from $36 to $61 over the course of 2020. The Department of Energy has step by step instructions on lowering your water heater’s temperature, making this an easy project to take on over the weekend.

Replace Your Heating System's Air Filter

You should change out the filter in your furnace every three months, so if you started using your heater in October, it’s definitely time to make the swap! But did you know you should also check your filter every month during the heating season to see if it’s dirty? A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm— wasting energy. Always using a clean filter can reduce your heating costs by up to 15%. If in the average month you spend $100 to heat your home, this simple swap you could save you over $90 each year.

And, as an added bonus, always using a clean filter will prevent dust and dirt from building up in the heating system — minimizing your risk of expensive maintenance and early system failure.

Make “Cold/Cold” the Default Setting on Your Washing Machine

Can you believe that about 90% of the energy used to do laundry is just to heat water? Washing and rinsing with cold water saves energy, helps your clothes last longer, and lowers your monthly energy bills. While there will certainly be times that a warm or hot wash will be needed for deep cleaning, most regular loads only require the cold/cold setting, and many popular detergent brands are formulated for use in cold water.

If you’re one of the 60% of Americans that still regularly washes or rinses their clothes in warm water, you could save over $60 this year by making cold/cold your new default.

By making these simple swaps now, you and your family could be saving over $200 on your energy costs this year. And, if you’re looking for even more ways to save, NYSERDA has home energy audits and ratings that can help you identify places to improve your home’s energy performance.


Are you looking for even more ways to make your home a more comfortable, more energy efficient place in 2020? Check out NYSERDA's website for more easy energy-saving tips.

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