Working from home means rising utilities bills, and the recent increase electricity tariffs is certainly an additional burden for homeowners. Now’s a good time to examine your energy usage at home and see how you can cut down your monthly utilities bill with energy-saving tips.
Energy-saving tips can save you $$$, especially for those who are working from home.
On top of once-off events such as choosing energy efficient appliances and the right electricity plan, here are some energy-saving tips that are extremely easy to turn into a habit and help you save precious dollars every month!
Tip #1: Clean your air-con filters every month
There are many ways you can help reduce the load on your air-conditioner, but one of the lesser-known but highly effective energy-saving tips is to clean your air-con filters every month. Doing so will help your air-con cool your room with less energy. Do a through cleaning of the air-con (i.e. chemical cleaning) every three months.
It goes without saying that we should keep doors and windows closed and curtains drawn increase the operating efficiency of the air-conditioner. Additionally, a temperature of 25⁰C is more than sufficient for most homes. For every degree lower, you consume more electricity and may pay approximately $25 more a year!
Tip #2: Use a fan to cool the room
Most of us use the air-conditioner out of habit rather than out of necessity. The next time you wish to turn on the air-conditioner, remember that for every hour, a typical air-conditioner unit uses 20 times more energy than a ceiling fan—imagine the amount in cost savings possible!
Opt for fans with energy-saving, direct current (DC) motors that promote healthy air circulation, and are able to produce cool air without loud whirring noises. These may cost more, but will more than justify its price tag in the long-run.
Besides a ceiling fan, there are also table-top fans in the market right now that don’t take up a lot of space but offer a powerful breeze.
Tip #3: Turn off appliances when not in use
Did you know that an appliance or electronic device can continue to consume energy even when it is not actually turned on? Household appliances such as TVs, routers and computers continue to use energy until you switch them off at the wall socket. Switching off the wall socket can potentially cut the amount of energy consumed at home by up to 10%!
Tip #4: Avoid overloading the refrigerator
Size does matter! As a general rule, bigger refrigerators consume more electricity, and refrigerators are one of the top 5 most energy-hungry appliances in our homes. Go for the size you need.
If you have an old refrigerator, regularly check the seal at the door to ensure it is in good condition, otherwise, the cool air will escape. For efficient cooling, there should also be good circulation between food so avoid overloading the freezer.
Once in a while, defrosting your freezer can help to conserve energy as it removes the frost build-up. Frost build-up affects how hard the motor has to work to cool your food.
Tip #5: Wash your clothes only when it’s a full load
There appears to be a misconception that underloading the washing machine reduces the energy expended each time you use the machine, which is simply not true. That fact is, consolidating your dirty laundry and washing one large load at a higher setting actually consumes less energy, compared to washing two loads on a low or medium setting.
Also, avoid using hot water to wash clothes, as 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine actually goes into heating the water. Room temperature water will do the job just fine!
Tip #6: When leaving a computer idle, choose ‘sleep’ mode instead of using a screensaver
Contrary to what its name suggests, screensaver wastes rather than saves energy. Originally developed to save older monitors from damage, screensavers today serve little purpose other than offer users the ability to personalise their computers. For the purpose of saving energy (and money), put your computer in sleep mode or switch it off instead.
Tip #7: Use pans of the right size when cooking!
Use a small pan if your cooker has a small cooking ring, and a large pan on a large cooking ring. In fact, using a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner wastes approximately 40% of the heat produced by the burner on a cooktop. So use the right-sized pan when cooking and save money!
Have any more energy-saving tips? Share them with us in the comments below!
If you found this article helpful, check out 9 Essential Tips To Making A Functional Home Office and 5 practical space planning tips for small condo and HDB units
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