In the modern home, a lot of appliances and amenities use up lots of energy thus making utility bills quite costly. This does not always have to be the case, as there are several ways to save the amount of energy consumed, saving yourself a lot of money in the process.
Here are a few energy-saving tips that you can apply to your home.
Before you find a way to save on your energy bill, you have to understand the rates you pay and how your agreement with your service provider works. The information on an energy bill can be confusing at first, but understanding it well can help you get to grips with your energy use at home.
An energy bill can provide details such as peak and off-peak rates, cover charges, and other costs associated with energy use at home.
You may also want to consider the choice of installing a smart meter that will directly help you keep track of your energy spending. Remember that not all homes are suitable for a smart meter, so be sure to check whether you can get one.
You can save nearly $70 a year by simply remembering to turn certain electronic appliances off standby mode. This is because they still consume small amounts of power in standby mode, and this can accumulate over long periods to add costs to your energy bill.
Most electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug or the wall without upsetting any programming and saved settings.
Items like televisions, smart speakers, and various appliances use up energy that experts refer to as Phantom Load. This expresses energy that is drained without users being aware of it.
A creative approach to this is finding a smart plug that can turn all your connected appliances off standby in one go.
Even in a new home, significant amounts of heat can be lost through draughts coming in around doors, windows, gaps in flooring, and through the chimney. Therefore, you may want to inspect these areas for gaps.
Hiring professionals to draught-proof your home can cost around $250. Experts estimate that it can save you around $130 annually on energy bills.
Draught proofing on your own can be cheaper, but it may not be as effective as that done by professionals.
Baths use up more water and energy compared to showers. According to experts, swapping just one bath for a 4-minute shower can save you nearly $24 a year on energy bills.
Remember to spend less time in the shower, as prolonged showers can cost you greatly over a long period.
You can save nearly $40 a year on your energy bill by using your washing machines more carefully. Use your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle rather than higher temperatures to save some energy.
Try to reduce the frequency of using your washing machines by running them as necessary only when full loads are being worked on.
Alternatively, you can think about minimizing or foregoing the use of your tumble dryer. You can dry your clothes on racks and air them on hanging lines outside in warm weather to save $76 annually.
Following easy maintenance steps like routinely inspecting and cleaning the air filters on your air conditioner can lower the system’s energy consumption significantly.
Try to ensure that any heating or cooling systems are working as expected. This means they are likely to consume more energy in a bid to compensate for any possible malfunction in their working mechanism.
Heating your home takes up a significant amount of energy, and lowering the temperature you set your thermostat can help you reduce your energy costs significantly. Experts indicate that every degree of extra cooling or heating increases energy usage by 6% to 8%.
Make up for the change by dressing in warm clothing at cold times and cooler clothing when it is warm. This will help you stay comfortable without racking up an energy bill by making your heater or air conditioner work harder.
You can also optimize the placement of your appliances to save more energy at home. Avoid placing lamps, televisions, and other appliances that give off heat near a thermostat, as these may offset its optimum functionality to make it use up more energy.
You do not need to have a lightbulb moment to recognize the benefits of switching from older halogen bulbs to newer and more efficient LED bulbs and smart lighting solutions.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, swapping out a 100-watt incandescent bulb for an LED bulb can save nearly $15 per year.
This is because LED bulbs use a fraction of the energy used up by incandescent bulbs. Most LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy, thus making for significant savings on your energy bill.
Lighting accounts for between 10% to 15% of a typical home energy bill. It, therefore, makes sense to turn off lights in rooms that are not in use.
For exterior lights, you may want to plug them into motion sensors so that they only come on when needed rather than staying on all night and requiring them to be physically switched off in the morning.
Hot water kettles use more energy than necessary when overfilled, and boiling more water than is necessary. It is estimated to cost around $40 annually. Remember to fill your kettle according to the manufacturer's instructions so that they use the recommended wattage.
Also, if you use electric-powered cookers, make sure you cover your pots and pans with their correct lids so that your food cooks quicker and saves you from using excess energy.
Experts also recommend turning off the heat a few minutes before you are ready to serve, as the residual heat will finish cooking the food, thus saving you small amounts of energy that accumulate over time.
An energy bill can cost you hundreds of dollars over a small period if you are unaware of how to manage your consumption at home. Luckily, it does not take much to save on your energy bill and you can easily cut down to make significant savings over time.
Remember to turn off any lights and electronics that are not being used, to take shorter baths and showers, to turn appliances off standby, and to use washing machines only when full loads are being worked on.
These tips will help you cut down your energy bill and you will reap the benefits over time.