We use a lot of electrical devices and appliances in our homes and there are a lot of ways to save on electricity so we don’t get a shock when our bill arrives. Here are 5 big ways, and small ways often ignored, that will help you save on electricity in your home.
Save on electricity in your home in big and small ways.
1. Maximize Natural Means
Utilizing your home’s features to combat cold or warm weather issues will help you save on electricity costs in your home.
Curtains are not just decorative but are useful to control your house’s temperature too.
Close doors and windows to trap heat or cold air. Especially when using electrical devices in a room, be sure to close doors and windows to trap in warm or cool air when using a heater or an aircon unit.
Use your curtains and beddings to trap more heat during cold months. Your curtains serve as natural ventilation for your whole house so open or close them to help regulate temperature inside the home in different weather conditions. Use thicker blankets during cold months and thinner ones with lighter materials during hot months.
Let plants help with ventilation. Place plants indoors to provide shade as well as encourage natural air circulation inside the house. Plants can be placed in all parts of the house including the kitchen and bathrooms. They not only get rid of unpleasant smells but also generate a lot of oxygen to cool and freshen up a room.
Turn off electrical devices when not in use. A common and simple, but often forgotten method to save on electricity, is to turn off appliances when not in use. If you are going out of a room, make it a habit to switch off the lights and the aircon or heater especially if you will be gone for a while.
2. Resort to Low-Cost Alternatives (Whenever Possible)
We need to evaluate what types of appliances we really need to use. As much as possible, choose the option that will be less costly.
Do you really need to turn on the aircon unit or will a ceiling fan do?
Use a ceiling fan instead of the aircon unit if it’s not too hot. If you’re feeling hot in a room, evaluate if you really need to turn the airconditioning on or if a ceiling fan will do. If it’s not the height of summer, perhaps the electric fan is a better and cheaper choice.
Install a dimmer to control your use of light. There are rooms in the house that we access at different times of the day which means that we also need different amount of lighting each time. Install a dimmer to control the amount of light you use at different times during the day. This way you ensure that you only use the amount of light you actually need.
Use a power surge strip with switches. Plug common standby devices such as phone chargers into a power surge strip with individual switches. This way, you don’t have to unplug the charger each time. You can just turn off the switch instead.
3. Save Energy in the Kitchen
We have a lot of energy-sucking devices in the kitchen but there are lots of ways to tame these electrical vampires. The kitchen is an area where we can save big on electricity in our home.
Use your stove and oven wisely to reduce electrical costs.
Thaw food in the fridge to shorten cooking time. The night before, transfer food from the frozen section of your fridge to the cooling section to thaw them instead of leaving them outside in room temperature on the day you will use them. Doing this will help you thaw food while keeping them safe from contamination. They will be ready to cook when taken out from the refrigerator so you don’t have to wait for them to thaw, reducing your cooking time.
Allow food to cool before putting them in the refrigerator. Let food cool properly to room temperature to maintain your refrigerator’s temperature. When putting in hot food, this will cause your refrigerator’s cooling system to work harder to quickly cool the food.
Don’t put uncovered food or drinks inside the refrigerator. Condensation from uncovered food and beverages, especially when they are still warm and steaming will cause your refrigerator to work harder to maintain the cool temperature.
Keep your fridge full. If you have a lot of space inside because you have used most of your groceries, use bottles of water to occupy the space. Your refrigerator will use more energy to cool the empty space than if there was something inside to occupy the space.
Turn-off stoves and ovens earlier when cooking. The remaining heat will continue to warm the cooking vessel which will continue to cook the food.
Preheat the oven only when needed. Preheating is important for foods that take a long time to cook such as meat. Otherwise, preheating is not really necessary.
Cook with lids on. To further make cooking faster, cook with your cooking vessel’s lid on. This will maximize the use of heat and hasten cooking time so you use less energy.
Air dry your dishes. Instead of using the dishwasher’s dryer, opt to air dry your dishes instead to save on energy.
Plan and cook your meals ahead of time. Plan a meal preparation schedule once or twice a week so you only use your kitchen appliances during those times instead of every day.
4. Save Energy with Your Laundry
Washing clothes, like cooking, take up a lot of energy. Here are some ways to reduce electricity usage when doing your laundry.
Laundry can be such a chore but you can save big on electricity bills if you do your laundry right.
Wash with cold water instead of hot. This will not only prolong the life of your clothes but reduce your washing machine’s energy use too.
Use shorter wash cycles. Again, this is a way to preserve your clothes life longer and reducing energy cost at the same time.
If possible, air dry your clothes rather than using the dryer. The dryer in your washing machine is one of the biggest energy vampires in your house. If the sun is shining outside, air dry your clothes instead.
Use dryer balls. If you do use the dryer, toss dryer balls with your clothes to help dry the clothes faster. This will also help make your clothes softer and fluffier when you take them out from the dryer.
5. Practice Regular Maintenance Habits
To keep your appliances and devices in tip-top shape so they don’t become huge energy vampires; follow these tips to save more on your electricity budget for your home.
Clean and maintain your appliances to maximize their use and save money.
Regularly clean your appliances. Appliances can accumulate dust and gunk which will hamper their normal working condition. Regularly clean them to keep them in efficient working condition.
Stick to maintenance checks. Don’t forego scheduled maintenance checks especially for appliances with lifetime warranties. This ensures that potential issues will be readily addressed so you don’t need to spend a big amount for a replacement later on.
Get repairs done as soon as you detect them. When an issue has been detected, have the repairs, replacement parts or cleaning requirements completed as soon as possible. This will save you from incurring more expensive repair cost later on when the problem progresses and will save you money on buying a replacement for an appliance that has gone beyond repair.
We’re sure you have other tricks to add to these tips to save on electricity costs. Share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Your monthly budget will surely be looking great with more savings.
BONUS TIP: Track your expenses so you can see where you can save even more.
First published on Pinoy Smart Living on 2018.12.03.
Feature Image: Original Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels.