There are lots of ways to save on electricity. All it takes is a little effort and some plain common sense on our part. You don’t have to be an electrician or an engineer to implement some of these techniques. In fact, if you look around your house and be conscious of your habits at home, you will discover lots of ways on how you can save money on your electric bill.
But before we go through some of the easiest ways to save on electricity, you have to realize that everything always starts within ourselves. It takes discipline and a small amount of sacrifice on our part if we want to significantly lessen our electric consumption. Furthermore, you have to understand that this is a household effort, which means getting the cooperation of your family (or housemates) is essential in making this a successful endeavor.
For starters, the best way to save on electricity is to focus on the biggest energy users in your home, which are the air conditioner, the refrigerator and your home lighting fixtures. Optimize the use of these appliances and you’ll see a noteworthy drop on your electric bill. Below is a short list on how you can lessen the energy consumption of these items in your household.
- Install an aircon that is suited for the space that requires cooling. Talk to your local appliance technician to know the right specifications for you.
- Always keep the filters clean, making this a twice a month habit is usually enough.
- Set the thermostat to the right temperature setting, 27° Celsius works for me. Putting the thermostat at a colder setting will not cool your home any faster.
- Don’t place potential sources of heat such as lamps, computers and televisions near the airconditioning unit. This will cause the airconditioner to run longer.
- If your unit has a timer, set it to turn off automatically two to three hours before your wake up time. This will not only save you electricity but will help you to get up on time and not run late.
- Whenever possible, turn the AC off and simply open the windows and use an electric fan to circulate the air in your room and reduce the heat.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes at home so you won’t feel the need to turn on the AC all the time.
- Use a refrigerator that is properly sized for your needs.
- Frost free type refs consume more electricity than the conventional type, if you had a choice, use the latter one.
- In line with using conventional ref types, remember to defrost when the ice becomes more than 1/4 inch thick.
- Give your unit room to breathe, place it at least 4 inches away from the wall so as not to overwork the motor.
- Refrain from placing hot or warm food inside.
- Thaw frozen food in the fridge, this will help in the cooling, really.
- Refrain from frequent opening of the door. Organize your ref and keep an inventory stuck on the door so you won’t waste so much time searching what’s inside.
- Turn off the lights when not in use. Make a conscious effort to check around the house, you’ll be surprised to discover that there are some lights that are running needlessly. Make it a rule at home to turn off all the lights when leaving a room.
- Use natural light at daytime if possible.
- Use CFL’s or compact fluorescent lamps. These uses 75% less energy than traditional bulbs, they last longer and they come with a warranty of at least one year in most local appliance stores. Yes, you can have it replaced if it dies within that period. They may cost more but it’s really worth it. Trust me on this one.
- Use lower wattage lights for areas where illumination is not critical.
- Using a dimmer helps reduce wattage and thus, helps you to save more electricity.
- Clean bulbs regularly to optimize the light.
- Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners. The reflection off the walls will give you more light.
More energy saving tips
- For those who experience winter, read up on how to save on your heating costs. This is important because heaters are big electricity-guzzlers.
- Unplug your appliances when not in use specially televisions, computers and VCR’s. Simply turning it off is not enough because these items still use electricity when on stand-by mode. Too lazy to unplug every cord? Use a power strip extension cord that has a switch to simultaneously cut the electricity to these appliances.
- Use a fabric conditioner so you don’t have to iron most of your clothes, specially those you just wear at home. Furthermore, iron your clothes in bulk.
- If you have the budget, replace your electric stove with a gas stove. On the other hand, when used properly, a microwave oven can really save you time and money on your electric bills.
- Use the power settings on your computer and set it to automatically go into Sleep or Standby mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. Do these instead of using a screen saver. Furthermore, an LCD monitor uses significantly less energy than CRT monitors and a laptop is more efficient than a desktop. There’s also been a study that a Mac uses less electricity than PC’s. Will this be enough reason for you to convert to Apple?
- There is no such thing as a “plug-it-in-and-save-electricity” device. Don’t be scammed. These may be sold in reputable stores and someone you know may have bought one and swears that it’s effective, but still, I’m not convinced because if they really work and they don’t harm your appliances, then why don’t big electronic companies produce their own versions of the device?
- Lastly, for Pinoys, visit the MERALCO homepage and see if your electric bill is correct by using their appliance calculator. Moreover, if you suspect that your home is being tapped with an illegal connection or your meter is not running correctly, don’t hesitate to request for a free check-up from your MERALCO technician.
Do you have your own tips on how to save electricity? Why not share them in the comments section below. Also, if you want more money saving tips, don’t hesitate to subscribe to Ready To Be Rich so you won’t miss out on these type of articles.
Bluejay, Michael. “Saving Electricity“. 2007
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Tags: Money Saving Tips