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    19 Little Things That'll Actually Lower Your Utility Bills

    Easy, affordable changes. Real results.

    1. Flip the switch on your ceiling fan so it's blowing the right direction, and your heat and AC systems won't work so much.

    2. Adjust your thermostat by just one or two degrees — keeping it a little cooler in the winter, and a tad warmer in the summer.

    3. Maximize your dishwasher's efficiency: always wait to run it until it's completely full.

    4. Swap in a luxe low-flow shower head so you still get plenty of pressure and spray, but end up using less water.

    5. And put aerators on all of your faucets, if they're not aerated already. Or replace your aerators with ones that'll use even less water.

    6. Swap out your CFL or incandescents (if you happen to still use 'em!) for LED lightbulbs — they're the most efficient, last the longest, and these days don't even cost more up front.

    7. If your windows are at all ~drafty~, seal them up with window film so you don't lose good heat to winter's chill.

    8. Same with your doors: if you feel a cool air coming from a gap underneath, seal it up with a draft guard.

    9. And in the summer, hang blackout curtains that you can pull shut when the sun turns your space into a sauna.

    10. Add a clean, dry bath towel when you put wet clothes in the dryer — then remove it after about 15 minutes — to make everything dry faster.

    11. Regularly clean out dryer lint from the screen *and* from the spot where the screen sits, too.

    12. And clean out your dryer vent (or get it cleaned) about once a year — your clothes will dry faster and your dryer will use less electricity.

    13. While you're doing all this dirty work, cleaning your refrigerator coils could help it use less power to keep your food cold.

    14. And if your air intake + floor/ceiling vents are clogged with dust, quickly clean those, too.

    15. Turn off your power strips when you're not using the chargers or devices plugged into them to thwart ~energy vampires~.

    16. Avoid using the oven in the summer, and limit your time cooking over the stove.

    17. If you live in a house, get a rain barrel to collect water to use in the yard, the garden, the fountain, the birdbath...the list goes on.

    18. Wrap your hot water heater in an ~insulation blanket~, especially if it sits somewhere kind of chilly, like your basement.

    19. And lower your water heater's temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, if you haven't already.

    Me comparing my February utility bills to last February's: