It’s NOT rocket science it is common sense! In these times of rising energy costs and ever increasing costs of living, here are some practical tips to save you some money.
Heating your home as you might imagine is the biggest use of electricity, it makes up just about half your bill at about 47%
- Only use the heat when necessary such as turning on just before you get up for the day. Keep the gauge turned down while you are asleep or out of the house.
- Get your furnace serviced regularly. I recommend annually.
- Use ceiling fans — counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.
- Open your curtains and drapes during sunny days= free heat from the sunlight winter!
- Service your boiler annually and potentially save big bucks. Bleed and clean the rads annually or bi-annually as well.
- Replace your air filters regularly
- Don’t block inside vents or outside units
- Do dust and vacuum to prevent clogs
- Dress appropriately and warmly for winter, if you are wearing shorts and a tee around the house, it makes no wonder you are cold! This is not Florida people!
- Utilise your blanket collection and scarves for extra wintertime warmth. There’s nothing better than cozying up under a fluffy blanket, drinking a cup of tea or hot coca and watching Netflix in the winter months!
- Let’s talk about your letter box: It might be time to get a new one and attach it to the outside of your home. Or get an insulated letterbox in your door… such a game changer.
- Buy a balloon! No you’re not going to a birthday party! It goes up your chimney if you are not using that wood burning fireplace regularly. These can be purchased at your local hardware store for a pretty reasonable price. It is very important to REMOVE the balloon prior to lighting your fireplace again.
- For optimal comfort a heating standard is about 20 degrees for living space and 16-18 degrees for bedrooms. Turn it on 30 mins before you need it and 30 mins before you are finished with it!
Heating water is another big energy consumer at 14%
- Take a shower in place of a bath.
- Set your water heater’s temperature to 60- 65 degrees.
- Wrap an older water heaters with an insulation jacket or lagging as it’s often referred to.
- Insulate the hot water pipes with lagging as well. Back in the day homeowners would wrap in newspaper BUT to benefit more use lagging products that are 75mm thick.
- Turn down your water heater if/ when you are away for a day or two.
- Install water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators.
Appliances such as your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer account for up to another 15-20% of your home energy use.
- Don’t overpack your refrigerator.
- Keep the most-used products- like the milk and butter- in the front or on the door.
- Set your fridge to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature.
- Regularly clean underneath and behind the frige- especially the coils if you can get at them- this maintains good airflow.
- Replace older refrigerators if you can with modern, energy-efficient models. I know, I know… not everyone can afford to do that BUT if you do have to replace something, keep it in mind.
Washer and dryer
- Wash full loads.
- Wash with cold water- despite what the garment may say on the tag (it suggests the highest temp), aim for 30 degrees. Most detergents nowadays work best in cold water, unless otherwise stated.
- Avoid overfilling the machines; I’m notorious for this and from my experience, its counter productive!
- Use drying racks and outside drying when possible.
- Clear the lint trap after EVERY dryer load.
- Don’t use washer and dryer during the peak times in your area- it is also so important to note here: DO NOT EVER GO TO BED or go out WITH YOUR APPLIANCES RUNNING.
- Opt to use a smaller appliance such as an air fryer, toaster oven, microwave, slow cooker or pressure cooker vs. the oven. These small appliances use way less energy.
- Use the oven and stove during cooler hours of the day; its helps heat the home!
- Don’t heed the preheat instructions unless it’s necessary for the dish to cook properly!
- Turn off the burners a few minutes before the dish is done and let the residual heat do the rest.
- Stop opening the door! Unless you suspect something is wrong leave your food alone- every time you open the door the oven has to re-heat. The same can be said for the fridge too… think about what you want out of the fridge before you open it and stand there letting the cold out!
- Wash full loads.
- Decrease the timer and the temperature if you can.
- Turn off heated drying feature… yes its nice but not necessary. Actually you can hand wash your dishes on light days and save a PILE of money!
- Wash during cooler hours of the day and allow the heat to benefit your home.
- Pre-rinse heavily soiled dishes to prevent the need for a second cycle.
Lights. You don’t have to live out the rest of your days in darkness but apply some common sense and you can save money.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Swap out little by little to energy-efficient LED light bulbs to reduce consumption.
- Open the blinds and curtains; make use of natural light, especially in winter, when you also get the benefit of heat from the sun as we spoke about earlier.
- Choose LED holiday lights and put them on timers so they don’t stay on all night.
- Install motion detectors on outdoor security lights so they only turn on when you need them.
- Deactivate standby mode and quick-start settings for your TV, TV boxes and video game consoles.
- Shop for ENERGY STAR certified electronics.
- Reduce screen brightness on televisions and monitors.
- Always turn off electronics when they’re not in use.
- Unplug your cell phone charger when not in use while you’re at it!
If you are the owner of a newer more modern property there are lots of great gadgets on the market that may greatly benefit you, check into timers and other energy saving gadgets; if you discover anything cool, let me know!
Hopefully these tips work as well for you as they do for me and my family. My hope is that you all stay warm and safe this winter.