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1. Reduce Energy Bills by Switching Off the Lighting
Reduce energy bills by making it a habit to switch off the lighting as you leave the room. Does the room light need to be on when you are not there? We always presume that we are going back to the room soon. Sometime, the soon become quite a long while. Keep your energy bills low by getting into the habit to switch it off as you leave the room and switch it on when you are back. This is one of the easiest ways to save money. Let the finger do the work. Do the same for toilet lighting as well.
2. Install Lighting with a Motion Sensor.
Within the house where the foot traffic is light, install a motion sensor. Set the timer to turn off the lighting say after 10 minutes to save energy. Instead of keeping the external main door lighted through the night. Link it to a motion sensor that will trigger it on only when someone is there. This will reduce your energy bills further.
3. Use CFL(Compact Fluorescent Bulb).
Replace incandescent bulb with CFL bulb. Although it cost a little bit more, CFL bulb uses 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than the incandescent bulb. LED (light-emitting diode) is gaining popularity because it is brighter, whiter and also generate less heat. Due to its much higher initial capital cost against CFL, you would have to do your Maths to calculate ROI, Return Of Investment.
4. Install a Programmable Thermostat.
Investing in a programmable thermostat will bring you a huge saving on your heating or cooling costs. Many of them can track the weather near your home and be linked to your smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa. If you have a large room, you may need to install more than one thermostats for proper zone sensing and cooling comfort. Take note not to place it under direct sunlight or near the fireplace to prevent a false reading. Play around with the settings and placement to uncover the most effective ways to reduce energy bills.
5. Thermostat Settings of the Fridge.
There is a thermostat in your fridge too. Set it to match the amount of food to prevent overcooling. Conversely, overloading the fridge or overstuffing with food, blocking the vents will obstruct the air flow and prevent effective circulation. The fridge will have to work very hard to cool down all the food and this invariably increase the energy consumption. Rearrange the food and space them out evenly to minimize blocking the vents.
6. Remove Obstacles Blocking Air Ducts.
Avoid placing furniture or curtains near heating vents or air return ducts. These obstacles tend to reduce or block the air flow and prevent effective circulation in the room.
7. Maintain Constant Temperature in the Rooms.
Use appropriate curtain materials and blinds to keep the room warm. Pull the curtains and blinds to one side in the morning to let sunlight in and close them before sunset to trap the heat in.
8. Window Tinting.
Film tinting on the window of your house or car is an effective solution to reduce glare, cut down excess heat and damage from the sun especially if your house is in the direct path of the sunlight. A tinted window can filter out about 95% of the ultraviolet ray that penetrates into the room as well as eliminates nearly 85% of the heat.
9. Lower the Heating Temperature during Sleeping Hours.
When retiring for the night, lower the heating temperature and cover with an extra blanket to keep warm. Investing in a light and a comfortable blanket is a one-off cost whereas maintaining high comfort heating throughout the night increases your utility cost.
10. Eliminate Draught and Leakages.
Window seals and doorways sweeper have a useful life. Adjust, check for wear and replace them where necessary to keep the heat in and cold draught out. You can buy expanding foam or caulk from your local hardware store to seal cracks to prevent air leakages. Trapping the heat in reduces your energy bills.
11. Reusable Filters.
Clean and replace the filter in your air-con and heating ventilation system. Look for a reusable filter that can be hosed off with water to remove the dust and foreign particles.
12. Smart Power Strip.
Connect the power socket of your computer, monitor, printer, speaker system and table lamp to a common smart power strip. With a flick of a button, you can turn off all the devices when not in use. As an added protection, you might also consider adding a surge protector to prevent random power spike which might damage your computer system.
13. Energy Star Appliances.
When our home appliances break down beyond repair, look for a replacement that is rated “Energy Star”. These appliances are energy efficient which save you money as well as conserve energy and promote sustainability for the environment.
14. Power Up Water Heater Only When In Use.
Do not leave the water heater power on longer than necessary. Switch it on for about 10 to 15 minutes before taking your bath. Overheating will make it too hot for bathing and increase scaling inside the water tank. Rule of thumb, every 10 degrees drop in heater setting will save you about 3% in operating cost. In a colder country, it might be worth to consider insulating the heater tank and piping system. This will help to retain the heat in the system longer.
15. Use Bathtub Sparingly.
Use the shower instead of the bathtub. An average 8-minute shower uses about 20 gallons of water compared to about 60 gallons for a bathtub. If you are environmentally conscious, you might want to take a step further by installing a low flow showerhead. Depending on the model chosen, some use only 1.5 gpm compared to the usual at 2.5 gpm.
16. Take Cold Shower.
During summer or warmer days, practice frugal living by taking a cold shower to reduce energy bills further. Natural health expert claim that cold shower helps to lower blood pressure, clear blocked arteries, and improve the immune system. Give this a try, it is quite refreshing. It has double benefits. Saving on the energy bill and boost our overall heart health without any increase in cost.
17. Don’t Run Washing Machine on Half Load.
For a single delicate item or small load, hand wash is far more energy efficient than to run it on half load in the washing machine. Most appliances are designed to run at top efficiency on full load using the optimal amount of energy. This means that running on a single large load saves you between 20% to 40% of the energy of two small loads. Distribute the clothes evenly and loosely inside the machine to not more than three-quarters full to prevent overloading.
18. Check Utility Bills Before Paying.
Check your utility bills for irregularity, error and overbilling. If you notice spike out of the ordinary, give the retailer a call to clarity. It may be due to faulty device metering, overbilling due to wrong estimation or underground water pipe leakages.
19. Switch Retailer for Lower Tariff Rate.
Keep a constant watch on the tariff. Switch retailer if you can get a lower rate and better deal. It may entail some paperwork but it is worth switching whenever there is attractive saving.
20. Use Clothesline for Drying.
After spin dry, use the clothesline and hang it out to dry under the sun instead of using the dryer during the warm season. This not only saves you energy dollars but also protect your clothing. The clothing smell good too.
21. Cut Cable and Watch Less TV.
Cut your cable and turn off the TV. Almost every household has a Wi-Fi if you must watch to consider streaming instead. How about doing something different like going to the library to borrow books or magazines for reading.
22. Defrost in the Fridge.
Reduce energy bills by not using the microwaves oven to defrost the meat or food. With a little forward planning, leave it overnight to thaw in the fridge. Healthier to eat food that is not being preheated by microwaves oven. This is killing two birds with one stone. Save energy and promote good health.
23. Auto-Power Cutoff.
Look for a charger that has auto-power cut off feature when the device is fully charged. Prolong overcharging will reduce the performance of the battery. To preserve the life of your battery, do not use until it is flat out. Charge when it drops to around 10% or 15%. During charging do not unplug at 80% or 90%. Let it reach its full charge before unplug. In fact, it is not advisable to charge your phone overnight. This often leads to overcharging. In the unfortunate event that it caught fire in the middle of the night, you will be least prepared to put out the fire.
24. Power Off.
Although many devices have auto-power off feature, they still consume some power. To reduce energy bills either unplug them or switch off the main. Be frugal to power them off especially at night before you retire to bed. This will ensure that your money is not draining away while you are sleeping.
Reduce Energy Bills By Trying Out These Tips.
I hope you find the above frugal living tips useful and actionable to reduce energy bills. When applied consistently over a period of time, it will save you money. Build a routine and make it into a habit. Let me know what you think and will be super glad if you can share your results or have new ideas that can save us more money.