Are you finding that your power bills are consistently too high and you’re unsure why? There are a few small changes that you can make around your home that won’t cost you an arm and a leg but can make a dramatic difference to how much you are spending on energy. The main reason that most households have a high energy bill is because they don’t completely understand their energy usage, and as Green Efficient Living are passionate about educating people to be more energy smart, we have decided to compile a list of ways to easily reduce your energy usage around the home.
Did you know that even though you’ve turn your television off after you’ve finished watching it, it is still consuming energy? It’s called ‘Vampire Power’, ‘Phantom Load’ or most commonly ‘Standby Power’ and has a significant impact on household bills. According to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, standby power makes up approximately $100 of energy consumption costs per year for the average household. Plasma and LCD televisions are large consumers of standby power and Energy Rating states that every television that is sold or supplied within Australia must display an Energy Rating Label. This will tell you how much energy the television uses per year and gives you a star rating allowing you to compare the energy efficiency of different models.
But the biggest way to reduce your standby power costs is by unplugging your appliances, or turning off at the switch, once you’ve finished with them. Take a look around to see if any of your appliances have standby lights or are warm even when not in use, and make an effort to correctly turn them off so that your house isn’t consuming energy unnecessarily.
The lighting around your home can be a culprit for many reasons and there are a few ways that you can be smarter when it comes to your lights.
- The most obvious way to save energy is to turn off the lights in rooms that are being used – don’t believe the myth that is uses more energy to turn lights on and off every few minutes. This is rarely the case and only applicable if you have large spotlighting or OLD fluorescent lights that take longer to warm up once switched back on.
- Avoid using your heat lamps in your bathroom if you are only after light, because while the difference in energy usage isn’t too vast for short periods of time, it can add up when the bill arrives.
- While energy efficient fluorescent globes may be slightly more expensive to purchase than your traditional incandescent globes, they use 80 percent less energy, are longer lasting, and are therefore the much smarter choice when it comes to saving energy around the home. They are perfect for areas where the lighting is needed for longer periods of time, such as the kitchen and living areas, and have a much longer lifespan, so the number of times you will need to change them decreases. Switch to save!
Dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers are some of the biggest culprits of energy wastage around the home because people don’t understand how to use them efficiently.
- When using your dishwasher, ensure to use the economy setting if it has one, and only turn it on when it is full. This is much the same as the washing machine, in that it should only be used once you have a full load, and all clothes should be washed in cool water to save energy heating it up.
- If you can, avoid using your clothes dryer and line dry instead. But if you need to, make sure that your clothes have been wrung out as much as possible to minimise the time needed in the dryer.
- As your fridge is continuously running, always make sure that the door is sealed tight and that the unit has at least a 5 centimetre space surrounding the unit to allow air to circulate freely. If you can, set the temperature of the fridge at a consistent 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, and -15 to -18 degrees for the freezer.
HEATING AND COOLING
- For Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners, keep the rooms that are not in use closed off, to keep the rooms that you are using cooler, and always keep your air conditioner filters clean.
- Always close your windows and blinds in hot weather to reduce the amount of thermal ingress from outside. This will ensure that your air conditioner does not have to work as hard to keep the room cool.
- In winter, close doors to rooms that you aren’t using to keep the heat in the rooms that you are and try to use extra blankets, wheat bags, or hot water bottles when sleeping to avoid running your heating in your bedrooms.
- Keep your fan speeds consistent and always use the right settings for the right occasions.
For more tips on how to be energy smart when it comes to your air conditioner or heater, see here.
When attempting to cut energy costs, many people don’t necessarily look to their water consumption as a solution, but there are many ways that changing your water usage patterns can help shave dollars off of your bills. According to Energy.Gov water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home and therefore can result in large changes to your spending.
- In the bathroom, changing your shower heads to energy efficient ones can save up to $200 a year on your energy bills.
- Making the effort to have much shorter showers is also a way to cut energy costs, less water used = less energy needed to heat it.
- When boiling water, opt for the kettle rather than the stovetop and keep lids on when cooking to reduce cooking time
- Fix those leaky taps!
As you can see, there are many small and cheap ways to reduce your energy bills by a large amount. Start implementing these tips into your everyday life and watch the savings pile up! For further information on how to save energy, call Green Efficient Living today on (08) 8297 3422.