If you’re looking for ways to help you save more and spend less–and who isn’t?–you can start right at home. With the high temperatures and fluctuating energy costs, try these tips, offered by American Home Shield,  to help cut your next electric bill.

11. Install Motion Detectors on Lights: Kids are notorious
for leaving lights on by accident. This easy trick can help you say goodbye to wasted electricity – and sky high bills.

10. Wash Clothes in Cold Water: Since most of the energy used by top-loading washers is to heat water, washing in cold can help you save each month.

9. Tint Home Windows: For windows that get a lot of sun, you can add a layer of solar window film to deflect sunlight and conserve energy.

8. Program Your Thermostat: Simply set it to raise or lower your thermostat for the times when you’re not at home.

7. Unplug Appliances: Even when they’re not in use your toaster, laptop and can opener drain power. So unplug them and save.

6. Wash Your Lint Trap: Since dryer sheets can cause a transparent film that burns out the heating unit, it’s vital to wash your lint trap with hot, soapy water every 6 months.

5. Change Your Showerhead: Replacing it with a low-flow head can use less water per minute – so there’s less to heat.

4. Cook on the Back Burner: By turning on your exhaust fan and using the rear burner on hot days, warm air will be sucked out, which minimizes AC use.

3. Change Your Lightbulbs: Compact florescent bulbs use a quarter the electricity and last longer than regular bulbs. And, they’re the environmentally responsible choice.

2. Check Furniture Placement: Rugs or furniture that block a vent can really cost you. Move them and save!

And my own little tip…

1. Sign Up for a Budget Billing Plan: If your electric usage varies widely from month to month or from season to season, budget billing may allow you to spread electric service costs evenly throughout the year. Check with your electric provider to see if they offer a budget plan (incidentally, check with your natural gas provider, as well). This is a great way to know with certainty what your bill will be each month and save money.

Stephanie Hofman, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Highland Park, IL

Cell: 847-652-1902

Email: Stephanie.Hofman@cbexchange.com

Website: www.StephanieHofmanHomes.com

“Stephanie Should be YOUR Real Estate Agent!”