SAVINGS ON UTILITIES: You will not believe that these little stuff could save you a lot on your monthly utilities. Read all about it.

Utilities are something you need to focus on to save some precious dollars. Not just for home maintenance but in general. Small things become big when they are taken together on a monthly basis. I understand that when renting, some or all utilities are included in the price but nevertheless; conservation is always good for the environment.
Try to consider the following aside from turning off unused lights and unplug appliances when not in use. You will be surprised that you can use the money instead on your internet bills etc.
Change your light bulbs to Energy-Efficient ones – it took me a while to do this as I want my bulbs to run out first but it will take a while. These are compact fluorescent light bulbs that we used back home. Remember those white lights? This Energy Star certified light bulbs use about 70-90 percent less energy than the traditional incandescent bulbs and they last 10-15 times longer.
Programmable Thermostats – no need to buy the expensive ones, it may cost $10-15 or a little bit more depending on the brand. You can set it based on your comfort level and automatically turns off when the desired temperature is reached. No need to worry about turning it off when you are out for a day or long vacation. You can also set up the temperature up and down on a timer and forget about it.
Curtains or blinds – If you do not have the energy efficient new windows that keep the heat or cold out, put blinds, heavy curtains or both. This will help keep your home comfortable spring, summer, winter or fall.
Use the traditional “TABO” when taking a shower – only people who grew up in the Philippines I think can do this JJJ but if you can’t purchase the low flow fixtures which can be attached to your showers and sinks. Look at your furnace to see if it can actually be set up on low flow. It is kind of weird at the start but once you get used to it, it should be just the same. Trust me.
Dishwasher, Washer and Dryers – Remember we didn’t have them back home. I still don’t know how to use a dishwasher because I’m still not convinced they really clean the dishes, but that’s just me.
Laundry should be done once a week so you have a full load. Such a waste of water, soap and electricity running at half load. Set it up either cold or warm unless it is necessary – running hot water consumes more electricity. Don’t forget the lint dryer making sure to remove it every wash to reduce drying time. I still hang dry either in the backyard or just inside the house. Finish your cycle half dry, air dry is much better than putting it in the dryer. Imagine how much energy and $$ you will be saving.
Unplug Electronics – imagine how many electronics each of us own individually aside from household appliances and other electronics such as TV, sound systems, video players. Cell phones, IPad and notebooks, laptop, games systems, desktops. All of these are plugged every day and some of them are plugged permanently even when not in use. Imagine how much electricity is running when not needed?
There are other ways to save on the utility bills. It is just a matter of making it a hobby until it becomes a habit. Remember, we grew up turning off lights before we step out a room. If your youngsters do not want to participate because everything is free for them, try asking them to pay some bills. For sure, they will be the one to remind you to turn off the lights. 
Note: Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients on Zillow. She is a Certified Expert Negotiator and also earned a designation as an Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, For more info, visit her website at and on Facebook Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at for free confidential consultations.


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