These days we are all doing what we can to stretch our budgets. And in this modern age where “going green” is the new trend, energy-saving tips and tricks to use less water, for instance, have become the norm. That’s because it’s not only about saving money, but also using less electricity to lessen our carbon footprint.
Of course there are various things we can all do around the house to help use less energy, but where do we start?
Winter is coming, and it brings with it high energy bills as more and more households will be doing what they can to stay warm. Fortunately, winter presents the perfect opportunity to use a little less electricity around the house.
For example, did you know that turning your thermostat down by only 1°C can equal to about £60 extra per year? Or that keeping your heating on constantly on a low setting cuts your home’s heating costs considerably as compared to turning it on and off on higher levels?
But look to your dress code, too. When at home, wear more jumpers, socks and slippers to ensure you’ve got extra layers covering your body. This can stop you from constantly needing to turn the heating on or higher.
As for the bathroom, it’s recommended that you turn the pressure down on that power shower. While a high-pressure power shower certainly presents an element of luxury, it uses way too much water.
Your commitment to lower energy bills don’t stop once you enter the kitchen – in fact, here is where you can really save some on heating.
First of all, stock up on food. When using the oven, bake or cook a few meals at a time (like lunches and suppers for the next few days). As ovens don’t allow for heating only one shelf at a time, this allows you to get the most out of your oven’s energy.
And speaking of stocking up, buy enough food to fill your fridge and freezer, as a full one uses less energy than one that’s only half full.
Done using your oven for the week’s food? Leave the oven door open after switching it off to share some of its heat with the rest of the kitchen.
On to doing the dishes, but don’t rinse those plates in hot water first. Just scrape off most of the food and pop the dishes into the dishwasher – this will help save a lot of water in the long run.
Lastly, remember that size matters. Therefore, if your cooker has a small ring, match it to a small pan. Even if you’re only heating up a small meal, doing so in a big pan wastes a lot of energy. Likewise, if you’re using a large pan on a small ring, you could end up heating for longer and, of course, using much more energy (and money) in the process.
When cooking those meals ahead for the next few days, fill up your oven as much as possible in one go to make sure all the space and heat is being used.
Always keep your oven door closed while it’s on, as a lot of heat escapes every time you open it. And here we are going to remind you to keep up with your housework and keep that oven door as clean as possible to allow you to check on food while it’s in the oven.
Make sure all food is defrosted properly before going in the oven – defrosted food can easily cut your cooking time in half.
When cooking, use glass or ceramic dishes as they are much more efficient in terms of reducing energy. And before popping the food into the oven, cut them into smaller pieces – they will cook much faster.
On your oven, use the fan-assist setting. This allows you to set the oven at a lower temperature compared to the static cooking setting.
Set your alarm for 10 minutes before the end of cooking time to switch off your oven. It will stop using energy, but will still keep the temperature on the same level for this time period.
Did you know that approximately 90% of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is spent on heating the water? That means that if you wash your clothes at 30-40 °C, you can use much less energy.
Done with the laundry? Air-dry your clothes instead of popping them into the tumble dryer, which is one of the appliances that use the most electricity.
And to save on ironing time, take your clothes off the clothing line before they’re completely dry. This way, they’ll iron much faster and you’ll end up using considerably less power with your iron.
Not using your television, computer or cellular charger? Switch them off at the wall socket! Even when they’re off but still plugged in and switched on at the wall socket, they are still using juice.
Make saving energy part of your household by sharing it with the kids. Turn it into a game and let them spot the areas in the home where energy is being wasted, such as lights that aren’t switched off, appliances that have been left on, etc.
And when our UK weather allows for it, open those curtains and let the sunshine in. This will add a little warmth to your interiors. Just don’t forget to close them up again when the sun sets or if it’s just too chilly.
Speaking of paying less, see these 7 great tips to help you save water at home.