10 Ways To Use Less Power
Saving energy is not only about helping you to save electricity or being more energy-efficient, it’s also a great way to save money. We all know that we could do more around the home to save energy but it’s often difficult to know where to start. It might even seem a little overwhelming.
But, fortunately it doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t even require much effort. With just a tiny bit of knowledge and a few moments of your time, you could save hundreds of dollars on your energy bill.
1. Consider switching providers
Over recent years, there seems to be a growing gap between the standard variable fees that most people pay for their energy and the cheapest fixed deals available. If you’ve been with your energy provider for a while, the chances are high that you on a higher rate. There are some great sites out there where you can compare all of the electricity, gas, and solar offers that are available in your area. You can check out uSwitch if you want to do a comparison
on energy prices.
2. Draught proof your gaps
The cheapest way to reduce heat loss from your home is by draught-proofing. If you have foam and sealant lying around, you can get right to work. Alternatively you can pick it up at your local dollar store or a hardware store at a good price. If you have leaky doors, windows, loft hatches, floorboards, or pipework, then you are probably
experiencing significant heat losses which means that your heating system is having to work harder to heat up your home. The same is true if you are using an air conditioner in your home. If cool air is escaping through gaps, then the system needs to work harder to cool your home. Keep in mind that heating and cooling your home is expensive. When possible, shut the doors to the areas that you are not using and only heat or cool the rooms that you spend the most time in. Be sure to block the draughts around doors and windows to stop the air leaking out.
3. Run your fridge efficiently
Running a fridge-freezer costs around 7% of your energy bill, because of course, you have to keep it on the whole time. Be sure to check that the door seal is type and free from any gaps so cold air can’t escape. Also, give the back of your fridge a good dust. The coils on the back of the fridge are part of the condenser that cools the room temperature air right down ready to keep your food cool. But when the coils get dusty and dirty, they become less efficient and therefore take more energy to cool the air down.
4. Use energy-efficient light globes
Energy efficient light bulbs are essentially fluorescent tubes designed to fit an ordinary light fitting. They use around a quarter to a fifth of the electricity that an ordinary light bulb would use to generate the same light. Think about it, if you use energy-efficient light globes throughout your home, you could save a pretty penny. Energy-efficient bulbs save power and last longer, and the best part is that these globes canoften be replaced for free or at a reduced cost.
5. Turn down your thermostat
You may or may not be surprised to hear that almost half of the money that you spend on energy bills is absorbed by heating and hot water costs. Turning down your thermostat can significantly help to get this under control.
A good guide to use is to set your thermostat to 26 degrees or above in summer and between 18 and 20 degrees in winter. In winter, heating can account for 30% of your bill. Every degree above 20 can add 10% to your heating bill.
6. Wash clothes using cold water
With the right detergent, you can do your washing at a lower temperature and save electricity. In fact, studies have shown that you could save as much as $115 per year by washing your clothes in cold water. Also be sure to select the shortest washing cycle and wait for a full load before you do your washing. It’s important to keep in mind that you should probably run a hot wash occasionally to keep the machine clean.
7. Home insulation
Research has shown that a quarter of heat is lost through the roof of an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft, attic, or roof is a simple and very effective way to reduce heat loss and can make a big difference to your energy bill. If your home is already insulated, ensure that it is properly installed and has the right rating. If your home is not insulated, it’s actually very possible to make this a DIY project. As long as your loft is easy to access, doesn’t have any damp problems, and is not a flat roof, you could probably insulate it yourself.
8. Turn heaters and coolers off when you don’t need them
Turn these appliances off when you leave the room or go to bed. Why pay for heating or cooling that you aren’t using? If you’re out during the day, or tucked up in bed at night, you don’t need the heating on, so you might as well turn it off. You can use the timer on your central heating or cooling system, and program it to switch off when you’re out at work during the day, and switch it back on about half an hour before you get home or before you get up in the morning. Yes, turning off appliances at the wall is one of the simplest ways to save on energy costs.
9. Choose energy-efficient appliance
If you’re replacing an appliance, you can cut your energy bill by choosing the most energy efficient model. When looking for energy-efficient appliances, look out for the energy ratings label on appliances and consider the size of the appliance that you require. Energy rating are usually given to products based on their size category. Using energy-efficient appliances can save you a ton of money.
10. Take control of your heating
It’s important that you understand and improve your home’s energy use. There are scorecard assessments that will take a close look at the fixed features of your home, the way it’s insulated and built, heated and cooled, your water heating and lighting. They then suggest the most effective changes to make, to reduce your energy use and thus reduce your energy bill.
Article written by; Jennifer Jones is inspired to teach people to live frugally to help people to take the stress out of their life and live to the fullest. Read more of her writing on The Frugal Mrs Jones