Even small acts done unknowingly facilitate in raising your energy bill. Your choice of energy-efficient devices will keep air pollution, and in turn, global warming in check without sacrificing the comforts of your home. Use your inflated bill as a stimulus to become aware of the way your home appliances consume electricity. Switch to affordable alternative sources of power to bring down energy consumption at home.
When you are not sitting in a room, why keep the lights, gaming consoles, TVs and other devices running? Switch them off while leaving the room. Inculcate this habit among children and this will prove very useful for your utility bills in the long run. The same would go for a desktop computer. Run it throughout the day and you are burning almost $50 a year just on this device. Rather let it sleep when unused. Make ‘switch it off when not used’ a mantra for all devices.
Unplug Unused Devices
An average household has many devices and appliances that still constantly draw power. There is no need to keep running all the unused devices in your home. Just unplug them and you will save a good lot of dollars yearly. Regular household appliances and devices share a major percentage of total energy use and you can come up to a decent saving if you take care of them.
Employ a Smart Power Strip
A ‘smart’ power strip helps you selectively switch off the device that is not being used by automatically shutting it off. Did you know that almost 20 per cent of the electricity used in the households just disappears as ‘standby’ fuelling the for-ever plugged-in electronic appliances even as they are not being actively used?
Use Home Appliances Efficiently
Start with dishwashers. Use them only when you have full loads. Also keep the cycles short for all except the dirtiest utensils. Again, there is no need to pre-wash the dishes. Just scrape the food off before putting the dish into the washer. On similar lines, a wash machine should have the water set for the load size. Using cold water to do the job will save sizable dollars in a year.
As for ovens, don’t preheat the oven more than necessary. This gives away all the heat, thus increasing the cooking time. Use a microwave oven to cook or reheat small items.
Use the Natural Resources Well
Open your windows for good ventilation within the rooms. Then you should be fine with using ceiling fans rather than rely on an AC to do the same job. Using natural sunlight to maintain your room temperature is called Daylighting. The more you use natural light, the less you rely on energy to light up the fixtures.
The other most available natural resource that is least used is the Solar Energy. Soak up the Sun. Solar panels harness the sunlight and convert its energy into electric power. This can be stored in a battery to be used. So add a few panels and little bit of wiring and your home gets solar powered thus bring down your utility bill considerably.
In winter, your thermostat should be ideally set to around 65 degrees in the day and around 58 degrees at night. In summer, use your AC optimally by closing shades and blinds. This reduces the amount of heat lost. Set your water thermostat wisely. 125 to 130 degrees would be ideal. Setting it higher will also amplify your utility bill.
Even with all these tips handy, it would be good to use ENERGY STAR qualifying products. They are much more efficient than typically purchased products.