10 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill with No Sacrifice
Brian Loman, dentalworkcash.
If you’re looking to save money, one of the first pieces of advice you’ll receive is to reduce your energy bill.
However, this can be particularly difficult if you don’t have the upfront cash to get solar panels installed, to upgrade your windows or insulation, or to replace heating and cooling systems, and large appliances like cookers and fridges.
If you have no money and still need to pay the bills, your best option is to be more efficient in your day to day energy usage.
Here are 10 ways you can reduce your energy bill with no sacrifice:
1) Don’t Close Air Vents
Whether you’re cooling with an air condition unit or heating with a central heating system, it’s a costly myth that closing air vents makes the process easier. As long as your home itself is well sealed, good internal airflow is what carries the desired temperature around the building. Therefore closing vents actually makes your units work harder.
If you do have spare cash, you should also regularly replace air filters, as if you have dust and other impurities blowing around your home airflow is decreased.
2) Lower Laundry Machine Temperature
Yes, it’s a fact that the higher the temperature of your laundry machine the better it cleans your clothes, but it’s also a fact that the difference between a higher temperature like 60 degrees and a lower one like 40 is negligible.
If you don’t want to wash on cold, 30 or 40 is a safe bet, plus at these temperatures, you won’t damage delicate materials or cause colors to run.
Cold, however, is the best money-saving setting and is acceptable if you have a good detergent and you‘re not trying to get rid of deep stains or wash particularly dirty items.
3) Turn Off Your Desktop Computer
There is an argument to be made that leaving your desktop computer on is better for the hardware than constantly rebooting, but if you’re not a particularly intensive computer user you’re definitely wasting energy by leaving it on overnight or permanently.
Even low spec computers are fast to boot these days and you can easily restore your previous sessions, making turning it on and off less hassle than the old days.
If however, you don’t want to power it off completely there are numerous power-saving, sleep and standby options that will reduce energy consumption. At the very least turn off the monitor!
Turning off your computer when you’re sleeping or out of the house is an easy way to reduce your energy bill. Plus, you get to hear a fun ding when it turns back on!
4) Unplug and Turn Off Electronic Devices
Electronic devices that are on standby or even switched off, but still plugged in, consume electricity. So before you go to bed every night be sure to unplug everything, or simply just turn off the power strip where most of the electronics are plugged in to.
If you are using single mains sockets, then unplug the device completely to ensure it’s not receiving any power.
5) Use Energy Efficient Bulbs and Turn Off Lights
If you still have old incandescent bulbs, remember to replace them with the more energy efficient compact fluorescent or LED options when they die. These might cost more upfront, but they last longer and use less energy. Estimates suggest you could save over $75 a year by replacing 5 or more old bulbs with ones given the energy star rating.
Likewise, you’re not paying for lights if they’re not on. So, whenever you leave a room flick the switch and don’t needlessly leave lights on overnight out of habit.
6) Don’t Set Your Fridge and Freezer Too High
Although no one appliance is the same, your fridge and freezer will have a minimum setting that will keep food cold and fresh or frozen. Setting it higher than this is just a personal preference and will result in more power consumption.
Looking at the manufacturer’s instructions and a bit of trial and error will help you find the optimum setting, but chances are you already know if you’re setting them higher than you need to.
Tip: If items are frosty or freezing towards the back of the fridge, you know it’s too high.
7) Shut Doors and Cover Door Gaps
Having a properly insulated home and rooms is important for energy efficiency, but upgrading your windows and base insulation can be costly. A quick and easy method to improve insulation right away is simply to remember to close all doors behind you.
You can also use sheets, clothing or buy a draft excluder to place at the bottom of doors. This allows you to heat up rooms quicker, maintain the heat for longer and maintain temperatures in general.
You can reduce your energy bill while cooking just by changing the tools you use—did you know the microwave is the most efficient?
9) Cook Efficiently
A large chunk of your energy bill is spent through cooking, so reducing the amount of energy used and/or the time it takes to cook your meals is a good way to reduce your bill.
Did you know that glass and ceramic dishes retain the most heat in the oven, while copper-bottomed pans heat faster than steel?
That being said, you might want to avoid using the oven and hob as much as possible, as the microwave is the most efficient method of cooking.
10) Hand Wash or Do Full Dishwasher Loads
It certainly costs to run a dishwasher, so if you have the time, a good old fashioned hand wash in the sink can help you save money.
If however you must use the dishwasher, make sure you only turn it on with a full load. The same amount of power and heat is used even if there’s only one dish inside, so don’t waste energy by washing just a few items.
If your dishwasher has good results, try to use the lower heat or less intensive settings as well.
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