Electricity is an essential part of our lives. It powers our appliances, illuminates our homes and allows us to stay comfortable throughout the seasons. We use electricity all day, every day. But with such constant use comes high energy costs.
By using electricity less frequently and more efficiently, we can cut down on our monthly expenses and reduce our carbon footprint. Follow some of these simple power-saving tips to conserve energy around your home.
A significant portion of energy goes to heating and cooling your home. Go easy on the thermostat and use the following tips:
- Every degree of difference on your thermostat changes your energy usage by about 7%. Set it at a consistent temperature and as high as you can comfortably stand. For most people, that's around 23 to 26 degrees Celsius.
- Consider installing a ceiling fan to complement your air conditioner. Fans improve an air conditioner's efficiency by circulating the hot air that accumulates near the ceiling. And with the cool breeze, you can raise the thermostat and still stay comfortable.
- Clean and change your HVAC air filter at least every three months. Clogged filters restrict air flow and can reduce your system's performance by 5% or more. Reusable filters are easy to wash. Be sure to let them air dry completely before reinstalling them. Disposable filters are fairly inexpensive. You can buy a replacement from any local, factory-authorised dealer.
Be sure to wear season appropriate clothing as well. This type of clothing is a quick and simple way to regulate your own body heat without having to adjust the thermostat.
Lighting is responsible for 8 to 15% of your household electricity consumption. But you can reduce that amount by up to 50%. Simply turn out the lights and switch to more efficient globes. Also use the following tips:
- Keep lights off in rooms you don't use. During the day, open blinds and curtains to allow the natural sunlight to shine through.
- Replace traditional incandescent globes with LED or CFL lights. These globes can be a bit more expensive to purchase. However, they use less energy and last longer. The money you save on your monthly electricity bill will offset the upfront costs.
Updating your home with intelligent lighting can save you around $80 a year. And coupled with natural light sources, you'll not only save on energy costs, but you'll also score a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Appliances and Electronics
We love appliances and we fill our homes with them. They make life easier and more convenient. But, they have the potential to zap energy if we don't take certain precautions, such as the following:
- Turn off appliances and devices. However, they continue to use power while plugged in to the socket. This standby power can increase your power bill by up to 10%. Make sure to unplug all computers, TVs, and small appliances or devices when they're not in use.
- Set your washing machine water temperature to cold. Using cold water is not only cheaper than using hot water, but it also protects garments from colour fading.
- Hang your laundry outside to dry if the weather permits. If you must use your dryer, do not overload it. Overloading your dryer with too many clothes causes it to work harder. Skipping the dryer could save you up to $150 a year.
The next time you're in the market for new appliances, invest in high-efficiency (HE) models or appliances with ENERGY STAR-certified electronics. Manufacturers design these appliances to use less water and electricity, so you'll conserve energy and money.
For even more ways to conserve power and electricity, contact a professional electrician. They can help you pinpoint areas where you may be using excess energy and offer additional cost- saving tips.