Key Tips On How To Lower Your Energy Bill For Better Living
Reducing your energy usage is great for the environment and for your wallet. There are many quick fixes you can employ to reduce the amount of energy you use without sacrificing your quality of life.
Reduce phantom loads.
‘Phantom load’ is the term applied to energy usage by appliances when they are not in use. As much as 75% of energy used by any home appliance is being usedwhen they are turned off. Almost any appliance that maintains time, such as your TV, DVR and many kitchen appliances, will use power even when switched off.
How do you know if a device carries a phantom load? Look for the following:
- Keeps time or has a visible clock
- Has a standby light
- Anything that is programmable
- Has a remote control
- Computers and printers
To reduce this energy use, get in the habit of unplugging these items when they are not in use. To make it even easier, use power strips with a power toggle to plug multiple phantom load appliances into - then you can switch them all off when they are not in use with the push of a single button.
Lower the temperature on your water heater.
Most water tank heaters are set at about 60 degrees Celsius. This is the standard setting used by many manufacturers, but it uses a lot of energy. It could be taking up as much as 13% of your water bill. Because of this, many energy conservation agencies recommend lowering the setting to 50 degrees.
This is an easy fix since most people do not want to take showers at 60 degrees and it can also reduce the risk of scalding. This simple fix can save between 6 and 10 percent energy usage on your water heater alone.
You can also wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket so that it does not need to expend as much energy to maintain temperature. The first six feet of piping leading out of the water heater can also be insulated for increased benefit.
Insulate your home.
You can make sure your home maintains a comfortable temperature more efficiently by employing a few different techniques. These include:
- Updating insulation
- Installing energy efficient windows
- Or, making sure your current windows are adequately sealed with weather strips
These do not have to be expensive fixes - the price of energy saved usually more than makes up for the cost within a few years. You can also rest assured that you will be preventing up to 1000 pounds of unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions from your home each year.
Install dimmers on your lights.
It should be no surprise that using dimmer lighting helps to conserve energy. This can be an easy trick to employ since many of us do not always want our lamps or light fixtures on their brightest setting. By making the light switches adjustably, you can moderate your energy usage easily.
In addition to the larger ticket items mentioned above you might want to consider:
1. Switching to LED light bulbs.LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than their conventional counterparts.
2. Keeping the fridge and freezer stocked.It may seem counterintuitive, but a fully stocked refrigerator actually requires less energy to maintain because the food provides insulation.
3. Only run the washing machine or dishwasher when full.These are two of the biggest energy users in your home so be sure to run them only when full to derive maximum benefit,
4. Line drying your laundry.The dryer uses a lot of energy when you can just do it the old fashioned way. Line drying is also easier on your clothes.
5. Keeping HVAC units in good repair.If your home uses HVAC units, making sure that the filters are clean and that the units are serviced regularly will help them to be as efficient as possible.
This may seem like a lot, but remember that any changes you can make to reduce your energy usage go a long way towards helping the environment, and they can reduce your own personal costs. Start with one of the bigger items and a small quick fix, and then incorporate more as time goes on. The planet and your wallet will thank you.
Sara is an expert reviewer and writer at Appliance Reviewer - a comprehensive and unbiased online guide, which helps readers to buy the right appliances for their home. After graduating from university, she worked for over 10 years as an electronic engineer, consulting with some of the largest appliance manufacturers around the world. Sara has since joined the team at appliancereviewer.co.uk where she uses her vast knowledge of style and functionality to write about the best home appliances available on the UK market - Helping her readers to make an informed decision on their investment purchase without having to try each item first.