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Making your Home a Hub of Energy Efficiency
 

If you’re in the southern hemisphere, “Winter is coming!” and if you’re in the Northern then you are finally escaping the months of terror, where your power bill skyrockets and taunts you when you open it. The high power prices of the winter months are really difficult for some people, but they are the only ones that suffer. When energy usage increases, and fires burn, the planet takes a bit of a knock. So how do we all help each other out, and get that energy usage down in the home? 

Here’s how:

Light up your home the right way.

When the days get shorter, and daylight hours become grey and overcast, the usage of lights within your home becomes more frequent. It is totally understandable - we all like to see. The trick to light-usage is:

1) ensure you are only using lights that you need, by turning a light off as soon as you leave a room. This also means congregating with your family. Five family members in five different rooms means five lights on when it could be limited to one or two. 

Encourage people to be in one space to use minimal lighting. 

2) Use energy efficient lighting.  One way to do this is to purchase energy efficient bulbs. Nowadays businesses are very proud of energy efficient products, so essentially all eco-bulbs are labelled as such which makes them easy to find. You can also purchase lights with sensors or timers that turn the lights off when you aren’t using them. Alternatively you can install a dimmer, allowing you to choose an appropriate level of brightness so that you aren’t wasting energy.

Don’t waste your water

It is so easy to practice bad habits without even realising it. Everyday, so many of us brush our teeth with the tap running, and wash dishes under a running tap instead of putting some water in a sink. 

Instead, practice turning off the tap.  Also, fix any dripping taps or running toilets that are sneakily increasing your water usage.

You can also conserve water by showering instead of bathing, and by only doing full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.

This isn’t a power saver, but it is a money and a planet saver simultaneously, so it is important nonetheless. 

If you must use water - make it cold.

Following on from the previous tip, a way water becomes a power issue is through heating. If you wash your clothes using a hot wash, you are creating a huge increase on your power bill. According to treehugger.com, 90% of your washing machine’s energy is used to heat the water, so changing to a cold wash makes a HUGE difference.

Seal windows - Don’t heat the outdoors.

We often don’t think about the heating losses the we sustain due to gaps in windows and doors. It’s not until you feel a specific draught hitting you that you begin to worry about it. But a window doesn’t have to be hugely draughty to be costing you money.

To ensure you’re not sending your heat outside, purchase some sealing tape to put around your windows. To further seal your windows, close your curtains earlier in the evening. This helps insulate the room somewhat by effectively putting a blanket over those icy windows. 
If you are hiring a professional to make the modifications, ensure that they are green-building certified and that they conform to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) standards including protective footwear such as the best steel toe work boots.

Blankets - not heaters

It is so very difficult to stop yourself from cranking up the heater when it gets very cold. Logically we know that it is better to wrap ourselves up in clothes and blankets than to wrap ourselves up in power bills due to heater usage, but it is hard to do.

Here’s a tip to help you out with that: The hardest times to endure the lack of heating is when you have to take that blanket off - when you get out of bed in the morning and have to get dressed. If you only crank up the heating during that most difficult time of day it helps you get through.

Heat up your home long enough for you to shower and get those warm clothes on. Once you’re ready you can drop it back down.

Unplug the unused

The last tip is unplug everything my friends. 
It is surprising how much power is used by appliances that are turned off but are still plugged in. Especially chargers - those power sucks still use about 20% of the power it takes to charge a phone while they’re not being used. 

Unplug all the power parasites, and reduce that energy usage.

 

 
 
 
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