Friday, 13 June 2014

25 great ways to save power

Here are some tips to help keep your energy bills down at home. Every time you lower your utility bills, you put more money back in your bank account. Lower energy bills also means less energy consumed, which means less harmful emissions released into our environment.

1. Saving energy in the kitchen
Thaw food in the fridge first to reduce cooking time and consider using a microwave when heating food or cooking as it uses less energy than an electric oven. When washing dishes use the economy cycle on your dishwasher and only run the dishwasher when it’s full.

2. Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer.

3. Set your thermostat
For every degree higher you set your air conditioner, you reduce your energy use by 10 per cent.

4. Turn coolers or heater off when you don’t need them
Only use air conditioners and coolers when you need to and only in the rooms you are using. Turn off your coolers before going to bed and when you leave the house. This will reduce your power bill and help keep you safe too.

5. Turn off gadgets and appliances that you’re not using
Up to 10 per cent of the electricity used in your home is used on gadgets that are on standby. You can install a standby power controller that will automatically reduce the amount of time your devices spend in standby mode and switch appliances off when not in use. We have 2 standby power controllers, 1 in the TV living area and 1 in the study.

6. Running your fridge efficiently
Your fridge is always on and this makes it one of the most expensive appliances in the home. Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps so cold air doesn’t escape. Set your fridge temperature to 4 or 5 degrees and your freezer temperature between minus 15 and 18 degrees. If you have a second fridge, only turn it on when you need it.

7. Energy Star labels
Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models available.
8. Move your fridge and freezer
Placing them next to the cooker or oven consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot sunny room where the room temperature is 30-35ÂșC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

9. Cover your pots while cooking
By keeping lids on pots when cooking you also reduce the amount of time and energy used. Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

10. Take advantage of your Smart Meter
If you have a Smart Meter, you can take advantage of web portals to track your power use and set usage goals. By knowing when and how you use electricity, you can make informed decisions about whether the option of a flexible pricing plan could save you money.

11. Clean or replace filters
Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner. Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

12. Shut doors and close curtains
Where possible, shut doors to areas you are not using and only cool or heat the rooms you spend the most time in. Keep curtains and outside window shades closed and block draughts around doors and windows to stop cool air leaking out and warm air coming in.

13. Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full
If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting. Detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.

14. Take a shower instead of a bath
A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximize the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.

15. Wash clothes using cold water
If you change to washing your clothes in cold water, you can save around $100 per year. Make sure you also select the shortest appropriate washing cycle and wait until you have a full load.

16. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors. However if you can’t afford to replace your old fridges and freezers (we have 4), defrost them regularly so they run as smooth as possible and don’t use extra power.

17. Use energy-efficient globes
Replace old incandescent light globes with energy-efficient globes. Energy-efficient globes will save power and last longer. CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Light globes can sometimes be replaced for free or at reduced cost. We had our house replaced recently for free from the government – it was 18 light bulbs!

18. Use power strips or boards
Plug your electronic devices into power strips and flip the switch at night when the electronics are not in use. Turning your electronics off at night with a power strip can save up to 10% on your energy bill.

19. Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%.

20. Keep your freezer full
A full freezer runs more efficiently than one with only a few items in it. Buy in season fruits and vegetables and freeze them for use all year round. Make extra meals and keep it in the freezer for later.

21. Flip the switch
Every time you leave a room, turn the lights off.

22. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

23. Don't heat or cool an empty house
During the winter, turn down the heating or cooling to a comfortable level. Make sure you turn off all heating and cooling while you're not at home.

24. Turn your computer off at the wall
Your computer may go to sleep, but it's still sucking up energy. Turn your computer off at the end of the day. You can do this at work too.

25. Buy rechargeable batteries.
While it may not save on your power bill, it will save money each time you need to buy batteries. With a 1 year old in our house, his toys need new batteries once a month. This has saved us a lot of money this year! 

♥ Lady Creativity

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