Are your electricity and water bills too high? If so, the solution isn’t always to find more money to pay for them. You can always reduce your power consumption in your household in practical ways. Thus, perhaps it’s time to rethink how you live at home — and we’ve got more than 25 ways you can follow.
Here We Go With 25+ Amazing Ways
Use Cold Water for Cooking and for Washing your Hands
If you have a water heater, you should not waste hot water. For example, if you want to wash your hands, use cold water. Yes, you also get cold water if you use the faucet for hot water — it takes several seconds for the water to get warm or hot, after all. But this means you’re using energy to heat the water. So rather than choosing any of the two faucets at random, pick the cold water faucet. This also applies to when you’re cooking. Why? The hot water coming from the faucet may have contaminants due to its contact with the pipes. You’re better off boiling the cold water from the tap.
Utilize task lighting
You don’t always have to rely on the big, single lights on the ceiling. Sure, it illuminates the entire room well. But do you really need that amount of total illumination at all times? For example, you shouldn’t use the main lights at night when everyone else is asleep and you still want to read a book or use the PC.
Your best and energy efficient option is task lighting. These are small light fixtures that only illuminate a portion of the room. If you place them in the right areas, you can comfortably do a specific task without having to light up the whole room. Not only does it save you money but it’s great in visual terms as well.
Use motion detector lights
We all need lighting fixtures for most of our daily activities at home. However, that doesn’t mean it should stay up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sure, you can just walk toward the switch and turn off the lights on your own — but there’s a better way to do this. Consider getting motion detector lights. Many people use these right outside their house to watch out for trespassers and other ill-intentioned individuals. But did you know you could also use motion detector lights inside? This would guarantee that they only turn on right when you walk into the kitchen, bathroom, or any other part of the house.
Replace your incandescent light bulbs
This is a common suggestion, but the truth is that not everyone follows this. If you still have one of those old, inefficient incandescent light bulbs — please replace them. These use up a lot of energy yet less than five percent of it is used to create visible light. Most of its energy goes to heat production. The best alternative is the light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. This is the most energy efficient type among all light bulbs, even when compared to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Such a bulb can last for about two decades. Plus, it won’t harm your family — it does not have any amount of mercury whatsoever.
Don’t leave the fan on when you’re going out
It may seem like the opposite is true, but you really shouldn’t keep the electric fan on if you’re leaving the room. Perhaps you’re thinking that this will allow the room to remain cool while you’re out. Electric fans do not turn the air cool; they only blow the air that’s available regardless if it’s hot or cold.
Simply put, you’re just wasting electricity when you keep the fan on. In fact, our editor observed when you keep the fan on, this can even make the room warm. The fan motor gets hot when it’s been operating for many hours straight So it is suggested to simply turn off the fan as you’re just wasting electricity.
Take measures when you’re using the water heater
Living in a cold region makes it essential to have water heaters. Likewise, anyone who wants to have a warm shower would buy one. Sadly, it takes a lot of energy to heat water. Your heater uses up more energy than most of your other appliances. You don’t have to stop using it, but you have to use it wisely. If you don’t need really hot water, why not change the thermostat settings to a lower temperature? If you don’t really need hot water so often, why not change your thermostat settings to lower temperature like 120°F? Lowering the thermostat can save 3-5% operating cost for every 10° degrees lower you go. Don’t leave it running if it’s not in use. Furthermore, try to provide insulation for the pipes and the water heater — this will keep the water hot for a longer duration.
Use your drapes and furniture relative to the sunlight
You don’t always have to rely on your air conditioner to keep the room cool. On a similar note, you don’t have to keep the heater on all the time if it gets cold. Sometimes, all you need to do is cover the windows with the drapes or curtains — blocking the sunlight and preventing heat from entering. During the cooler seasons of fall and winter, you can then keep the drapes open. This way, sunlight will reach your room and keep it warm in a natural manner. Even how you use your furniture helps. Do you want to read a book in the day? Just place your desk or seat by the window. Let the sun provide the light.
Don’t use the dry cycle feature of your dishwasher
Yes, it’s a handy part of the dishwasher. However, you can save a lot of energy if you don’t utilize this cycle. How can your dishes get dry without it? Simply keep the dishwasher open for a while to let the air in. It’s not as quick as the drying feature, but it doesn’t use any electricity. If you do this frequently, you can lower the overall power consumption of the dishwasher by half. Try doing this every night. Just leave the dishes to dry overnight. In the morning, you’ll have clean, dry dishes ready for breakfast.
Do your laundry and dishes when they are full
If you’re only going to use your hands to wash the laundry and do the dishes, it’s okay if you only have several to clean. But if you’re going to use power-hungry appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, make sure that you’re going to maximize their use. A washing machine usually has a minimum water level. So even if you just put five shirts in there, you’re still using the same amount of water and electricity as when you fill it up — and the same goes for the dishwasher.
Consider the properties of your windows
In colder regions or during winter, you need to keep as much heat inside the house; you don’t want them escaping the house again and again. Otherwise, you’ll use more energy just to bring the heat up again. One place where heat can escape from is through your windows — especially those single-pane variants. If you want your windows to retain more heat, use double-pane windows. Another option is to use windows with Low-E glass or Low-E coating. This keeps the heat inside from easily going outside. In fact, you can use the same windows during hot seasons since it allows less heat to enter than usual windows.
Cover your food before putting it in the fridge
One way to prevent your food from getting spoiled is to put it in the fridge. However, how you put it in affects how much energy your fridge uses. When you only place the food on a plate, it will eventually release moisture. This then forces your fridge to use more power to stay cool. To address, try covering the food with plastic wrap before putting it in the fridge. And if you want a more sustainable option, get a food container. Both these options will keep moisture from affecting the temperature in the fridge.
Use the right kind of water heater
If you intend to replace your old water heater, make sure that you buy one that is energy efficient. Look for models with an Energy Star label. If you prefer the traditional gas-fired type, look for those with an energy factor (EF) of at least 0.67. You can even use commercial models with a 0.80 EF for home use. Otherwise, there are heat pump water heaters that use way less power than other types. This is due to how they move heat around the system rather than just generate it all the time. Another option is a tankless water heater — as they eliminate standby heat losses, hence resulting in less energy consumption.
Ditch the hot water for cold water when doing your laundry
Many people prefer using hot water for laundry — they believe it cleans clothes the best. However, that’s not exactly the case. Hot water is only ideal if you want to get rid of the soil in your shirt. It’s not even recommended for removing sweat. Cold water is applicable to most clothes you want to wash.
Plus, using hot water is costly in terms of energy use. Up to 90 percent of the electricity is for heating the water. Imagine how much energy you can save by switching to cold water and using hot water only when necessary.
Defrost the freezer
Energy saving measures involve the proper maintenance of your appliances. If you don’t clean them, they will become less efficient. In particular, the freezer needs a defrosting on a regular basis. If you don’t do anything, the ice will accumulate and affect how well the freezer can function in the long run.
You can still take a bath every single day and save energy — but only if you do it fast. Don’t spend half an hour in the shower daydreaming or planning your day ahead, especially if you’re using hot water. Just focus on cleaning and washing your body. This can literally take less than ten minutes of your time.
Put a lot of food in the freezer
It may seem contrary to the goal of saving energy. After all, doesn’t more food mean more things for the freezer to keep cool? Well, the thing is that an empty freezer has more space for warm air to take when you open it. Thus, keeping it full will limit how much warm air gets in.
Use the microwave
A microwave can cook your meals faster than a toaster oven while using about a fifth less energy. Likewise, the microwave is better than the conventional oven. You can have a meal ready in 30 minutes with a microwave instead of waiting for two hours with a conventional oven.
Don’t always fill the kettle
It’s easy to fill a kettle with water, but it’s not always necessary. If you only plan to have a single cup of hot coffee at the moment, don’t place 10 cups of water in the kettle to boil. The hot water you won’t use will just eventually get cool after several hours.
Check for leaks in the house
Get a rug to improve insulation
Get a smart thermostat
A programmable thermostat helps save money and energy by letting you turn the heating off when it’s not in use. But what’s even better is a smart thermostat. This type allows you to adjust the thermostat settings even when you’re not inside the house; you just need to connect your device to the Internet.
Make use of trees
Summer is the time when you will likely use the air conditioner the most. However, you won’t always have to use it if there’s enough shade to block off the sunlight and the heat. So when you plant or relocate a tree, place it where it can provide natural shade to your room.
Water the lawn early in the morning
If you have a lawn or a garden, water it first thing in the morning. This is when the sun is not yet completely out. Thus, it’s not that hot and the water won’t just evaporate — you won’t have to use extra amounts of water. Plus, the usually calm winds at this time help ease evaporation.
Switch from a desktop to a laptop
We know the appeal of using a desktop — it’s easy to customize and upgrade. Plus, the monitors can get big. However, they also use up a lot of energy. This is more the case if you’re a video gamer or video editor who uses high-end computer processors. If you want to save energy, get a laptop instead. It may have a smaller screen size, but it’s better in terms of power consumption. Plus, you may be surprised at how powerful they are relative to their size. There are even compact gaming laptops. Thus, you can still play your favorite computer games without using a power-hungry gaming rig.
Clean the coils of your fridge
Set some time to clean the coils at the back of your refrigerator with a vacuum. Do this once every six months — and do it more frequently if you have furry pets at home. If you don’t clean the condenser coils, they can make the compressor overheat and eventually stop the fridge from working.
Take advantage of smart power strips
Did you know that your appliances and gadgets still use energy even when they’re not in use? It’s called the standby power or vampire energy. So even if the fan is completely turned down to zero, it still needs electricity. Now imagine the same thing with your laptop, TV, microwave, and gaming console. In order to have better control of this standby power, you should buy smart power strips. These are designed to turn off electronics when you’re not using them. Usually, you can use the strips to check how much electricity each connected device or appliance uses on a daily basis.
Don’t let water flow when you’re not using it
It may seem like a small deal, but it eventually adds up. You waste more and more water when you keep it running while you brush your teeth. The same goes for when you wash your hands or shave your facial hair. If you don’t need the water yet, turn the faucet off — it’s a simple yet effective way to save energy.
Cover your cookware when in use
If you want to boil that soup as fast as possible, cover the pot with a lid. This traps the heat and accelerates the increase in temperature. Likewise, it’s faster to cook chicken, pork, fish, or any other food if you cover the pan. The faster you cook them, the faster you can turn off the stove or induction cooker.
There are tons of ways to save energy at home. Even if you just follow one of them, you can already save a lot of money in the long run — so what more if you utilized them all? We hope that you learned a lot from our article. Hopefully, this will help everyone become more mindful of how they use resources.