Simple Ways To Save Energy
Having visited this website, you will be aware of a great many DIY solutions to saving energy and water, but you can also make a difference to your electricity bills simply by changing your habits.
Our parents and grandparents were brought up to switch off the light when they left a room, but nowadays we have got into the habit of leaving lights switched on all over the house. Train yourself and your family to switch off unnecessary lighting. You only need a background illumination when watching TV; once you have settled down for the evening, perhaps just one or two table lamps are all you need for reading or playing games.
Many electrical appliances such as TV sets and music systems can be left on standby, so they can be reactivated using a remote control. The small lamp that indicates an appliance is in standby mode consumes an insignificant amount of electricity, but the cumulative effect represents wastage on a colossal scale. Unless you need to leave your equipment set up to record a program on TV or radio, try to remember to turn off these appliances at the socket.
Turn The Heating Down
Turning down the thermostat by 1° can save a great deal of money, and you probably won’t even notice the difference in comfort.
Why not turn off the radiators in spare bedrooms that are infrequently used. If you need a gentle background heat in the room – to prevent condensation, for example – fit a thermostatically-controlled valve to the radiator.
Night Lights & Safety Lighting
If you have children, who are afraid to sleep in the dark, a special low-powered light fitting into a socket in the bedroom. This is a far more energy efficient than leaving a light burning on the landing. Similar fitting can provide low-level illumination on a landing in case someone needs to use the bathroom during the night. If that is not a practical solution, can you leave a table lamp or light are plugged into a timer that will switch off the lamp at dawn
Outdoor security lighting is essential if you want to identify a caller after dark. But don’t install lighting that stays on permanently. Have a porch light that is activated by movement as the caller approaches the front door, and make sure the fitting has a dusk to dawn sensor that prevents the light coming on during daylight hours.
Boil Less Water
There is no need to fill the kettle each time you make a cup of tea or coffee. You can see the heating element inside older-style kettles and, provided there is enough water to cover the elements; you can’t do any harm. If the element is concealed in the base, get used to using the measurements marked on the kettle to avoid overfilling it. Make sure the lid is fitted properly on the kettle will continue to boil without switching off.
You have to cover potatoes with water to boil improperly in a saucepan, but you can cook a steamer full of other vegetables on top of the same saucepan.
Cook More Efficiently
Instead of using the grill or hob, as well as the oven, to cook food, plan some meals so that you can use your oven to cook vegetables and meat at the same time.
A fan oven heats up faster than a conventional one, so don’t switch your fan oven on to sin in order to bring it up to the temperature recommended in your cookbook. It can take as much as an hour to bake potatoes in the oven, but you can precook them in your microwave for about 10 minutes before putting them in your oven just to brown the skins.
Economise On Laundry
Most modern washing machines and detergents provide the opportunity to do the laundry on cool or fast program, which saves considerably on electricity.
Electric tumble dryers are a real boon, especially in the winter months. However, if you have the space in the garden, or even a balcony, hanging your washing on a clothes line in warm and windy weather could save you having to use your tumble dryer for up to 50 minutes per day.
Close Your Curtains
Fitting effective draught excluders is covered elsewhere on this site,but even draught-proofed windows can sap the warmth from a room. Close your curtains or blinds at dusk to reduce heat loss. Good quality lined curtains work best, especially if there is a closed pelmet across the top of the window.
Buy And Use Appliances Wisely
When buying new electrical appliances, look for labelling that provides information on the energy efficiency. Also, choose appliances that suit your personal lifestyle. As a single person, you can probably function very well with energy efficient compact fridges, dishwashers and ovens. Buy a slow cooker that uses a trickle of electricity during the day in order to have a meal ready when you get home.
A big family will use less energy and water by installing a large washing machine, instead of having to use a smaller appliance perhaps once or twice a day to keep up with the laundry.
Using an electric toaster every morning is more energy efficient and switching on your cooker grill and toast the bread.
Use Your Mobile Phone Alarm
A plug in alarm radio beside your bed uses a small amount of electricity day and night, simply to illuminate the clock face. To wake you up in the morning, use a mobile phone, which has an alarm facility that switches on the phone at the time you set. Alternatively, by a simple battery-operated alarm clock.
More and more we seem to be adopting the American custom of putting up extensive outdoor decorations at Christmas. It would be a pity to dispense with them altogether; but if you were to calculate the running cost of a house full with electric ‘fairy’ lights, you may think twice about it.
For more help and advice on how you can save money on your fuel bills call our office on 0131 538 3640