[The following is a guest post brought to you by uSwitch]
We recently talked about the need for proper business energy management, now we will switch gears and focus on the home. With electricity prices rising all the time and fossil fuels nearing depletion, it makes a lot of sense to take measures to save money on your energy bills at home. Many of these steps are common sense and easy to do if you compare energy prices. With more and more people using every extra penny to pay off debt, home energy management is becoming more important than ever. Here are some tips to reduce energy costs.
Tips For Better Home Energy Management
Get into the habit of switching off lights when you leave a room.Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or LEDs (light emitting diodes) inside and outside the home; they use a fraction of the energy of traditional incandescent lighting and come out tops with energy comparison. They also produce far less heat, thus making cooling down of the room unnecessary.
Turn fridges and freezers down to a minimum, especially in winter. Don’t open the door unnecessarily or for too long. Defrost the freezer regularly and do not overfill it; but do not run it empty, either. It makes sense to compare electricity prices when different appliances are run.
A geyser is one of the most energy hungry appliances in the home. With energy comparison, it becomes clear you should set the heat for 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in summer and 60 degrees (140 Fahrenheit) in winter and install an insulating geyser blanket, not forgetting to cover the first two meters of outgoing pipes as well.
Proper home energy management may include making changes to the structure of your home (something which may provide an unexpected benefit when it’s time for tax preparation). Installing a solar water heater is initially more expensive but makes sense in the long run if your goal is wise home energy management. Shower for as short a time as possible and install a low flow shower head. Do not run the hot water for small amounts or when cold water will do and use the first unheated water to water plants or use in pets’ bowls.
Boil only as much water as you need in a kettle or keep water in an insulated flask for later use. A fully loaded dishwasher uses less water than manually washing dishes, although the initial outlay will be more expensive; but if you compare energy prices it is worth it.
Run the washing machine on cold unless clothes are greasy or heavily soiled. Front loaders use less electricity. Use a microwave oven instead of the stove top or oven when cooking. You might find that using gas is more cost efficient if you compare gas and electricity prices.
Make use of the natural heat of the sun by opening window coverings in winter and keeping them closed in summer and at night. Plant shade-giving trees, preferably deciduous ones, so that in the winter the sun will reach your home. When you compare electricity prices, the saving will make a difference.
Using double-glazed windows or a window film will further enhance insulation features. Apply weather stripping or sealant to seal gaps that let out heat and install insulation in basements, heating ducts, ceilings and walls if possible. If you compare energy prices before and after these steps, you will notice a considerable saving.
When you compare electricity prices, you will see that central heating uses a large amount of energy. Wear warm clothes instead of turning up the thermostat; use an electric blanket at night and turn down the heat in your room or switch off loose standing heaters.
Unplug all appliances when not in use; even on standby or when switched off they still consume a small amount of energy. Replace electric appliances with energy saving ones. With energy comparison, you will notice that a laptop uses less energy than a desktop computer.
Maintain all appliances regularly, such as keeping the dryer filter lint free, the geyser clear of sediment and pipes and vents clear of dust and other obstructions. Conserve fuel in your car by driving more slowly and accelerating more gently. Service your car regularly and keep all filters clean. If you compare gas and electricity prices you might want to opt for appliances that use gas, such as ovens. The biggest thing that you can do is to avoid non-renewable energy sources as much as you can.
photo by Images_of_Money