Depending on your air conditioning situation at home, you may be either extremely happy or extremely sad to see the temperatures start to drop as we head into fall. After seeing high utility bills in our new home, I went to the Frugal Yakima Life Facebook page last winter for ideas on how to lower it. Readers gave tons of great responses which I decided to condense into one article.

The number one response was to call the utility company and ask them to put your account on a payment plan so that you pay the same amount every month.

Some great suggestions regarding appliances were to turn off the heated dry setting on the dishwasher, run the spin cycle on the washing machine one more time (since the washer uses less energy than the dryer), wash all laundry in cold water (I’ve been doing this for a long time and our clothes are still perfectly clean) and turning down the temperature on your water heater.

Several people suggested turning down the heat and dressing warmer in the house. This is something I grew up doing but with kids little enough that they can’t put their own covers back on in the night, we keep the temp up in our house.

One reader suggested having an electronic-free day once a week. This is a fantastic idea! She also suggested that if one day is too much, try a few hours to start with.

Many readers suggested turning off and unplugging appliances and electronics when they’re not in use. One thing I know about energy is that even if something is turned off, the energy is still flowing to the plug and will therefore cost you money.

Other suggestions included purchasing Energy Star appliances, low flow shower heads, small tank toilets, a programmable thermostat and vinyl windows. Also make sure that there are no leaks in windows and doors and use padded blockers on the bottom of doors to make sure no heat or air escapes.

Does a post about colder weather scare you? It’s coming soon! These are some great ways to be ready. Don’t forget to post on the Frugal Yakima Life Facebook page with more suggestions!