Here are a few of the most common sense, and therefore, easiest to follow ways to save energy and therefore save electricity around the home. Of course, energy costs money, so if you’re saving energy, you’re saving money, right?
So, let’s all be kind to mother nature and save money while we do it…
I can’t believe I actually used a line like that… let’s just save money…
Please note, this is not a scientifically proven article. As I’ve said, it’s mainly common sense. If you disagree, or feel like adding to these ideas, please leave a comment below.
Your fridge is working hard all day and night, working harder when it’s warm outside and when it’s full. In most fridges there’s a dial on the inside which regulates how cold it keeps your food. You don’t need to turn this all the way up. And in winter I tend to turn it lower than in summer.
Another thing is, most modern fridges have a button on the outside which says “holiday” or “vacation”. This is for you to press when you are going away for a while. The reason is because when you are at home, you keep opening the door to get something out of the fridge, which lets the warm air in and the cool air out. But when you are on holiday, this isn’t going to happen. So you can set the fridge to use less power to keep your food cool.
As I’ve mentioned in my other article on CFL light bulbs, you can save energy by replacing your current light bulbs with the low energy bulbs. I especially recommend that you do this for any bulbs that you keep on for more than 3 hours at a time, like garden lights, patio lights, or front door lights.
Because CFL light bulbs don’t get as hot as normal bulbs (hence their energy saving capabilities), I’ve also placed small CFL bulbs into my bedside lamps. When I’m reading in bed, the lamp isn’t that hot next to my face, and if I need to move it, I won’t get burned. These are also really great if you’ve got plastic lamp shades…
The geyser uses a LOT of power to heat up your water. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a “holiday” button like your fridge. Though it should. So, when going away for more than a couple of days, I turn the geyser off at the house’s main power board (the electrical mains). It might be a coincidence, but when I turned the geyser off for a week, my electricity bill was almost 30% cheaper.
– Hot water
Carrying on from the geyser is the fact that, using more hot water means the geyser needs to warm up more, which means using more power. A quick and easy tip is to use the shower/bathroom nearest the geyser, mainly in winter. The reason behind this is that water from the geyser will need to travel through the pipes to the taps, losing a lot of it’s heat along the way, until the pipes have warmed up.
And, when you’re finished, a lot of hot water will sit in the pipes, cooling down. This is water that you will probably just “pour down the drain” next time you shower/bath until the water warms up.
Here’s an experiment: Run the taps in the bathroom closest to the geyser, and see how long it takes for the water to come out hot. Now do the same for your other bathroom. I’ll bet there’s quite a difference.
– Electrical Appliances
Just like the geyser, a lot of your electrical appliances don’t have “holiday” modes, so how about turning them off when you go away. Here’s a list of things that you might benefit from by unplugging them from the wall (especially if your home is in an area prone to lightning storms):
– Computers and laptops
– Networking equipment like wifi routers, if you use them
– Kitchen appliances like toasters, microwaves, kettles, etc…
Remember, even if something uses a small amount of energy, it all adds up.
This one is an OLD one. But probably the most obvious here. If you’re making coffee for one person, put one and a half cup’s worth of water into the kettle. If you’re making coffee for 2 people, put 2.5 cups of water, etc.
It takes a lot less energy to heat up one cup of water than it does to heat up 4. AND it’s a lot quicker… 🙂
– Washing dishes
This is something that’s going around on an energy saving TV advert here in South Africa at the moment. It doesn’t make logical sense, but I thought I would add it anyway because it makes my laziness justified.
Apparently it uses a lot less energy and water to wash dishes in a dish washer than it does using the normal, manual process.
Unbelievable as it sounds, it’s probably if you wash your dishes with the water running to rinse your dishes, and if you stock up the dishwasher until it’s completely full.
So, do you have any other electricity saving tips or tricks?