We don’t have to be fans of Game of Thrones to know that winter has come, which increases our energy consumption at home. This means that your pocket will be affected because of the considerable rise in the utility bill. But, did you know that you can save energy at home with just a few adjustments? The good news is that you only need to do some minor changes to see results.
Here is a list of easy and practical tips you can consider to save energy at home during winter.
1. Make sure your AC/VC system gets the proper service:
Better safe than sorry! We recommend at least one annual check-up done by professional contractors specializing in mechanical systems to guarantee that everything is working properly. This way, you’ll be sure that there will be no irregularities, gas leaks or energy waste. A small imperfection in your AC/VC system can be a headache and, what’s even worse: it can make you spend more money than you should!
2. Adjust the temperature and guarantee proper insulation:
We know you want to keep your house warm in the winter, but if you set the temperature between 19ºC (66.2ºF) and 21ºC (69.8ºF), it will be more than enough for most people. Keep in mind though: rooms for small children and older adults may need more heat. The important thing is that you settle on a reasonable room temperature, and you make sure that the cold isn’t coming in through unidentified cracks. Good isolation will help the heat generated by your AC/VC system to stay inside the house, avoiding the need to set the temperature higher and higher. Its sounds obvious, but it’s a small detail that many people forget. That’s why you must check your windows, doors, plugs and switches for any air leaks. Install a chimney balloon so cold drafts don’t come in through the chimney, and draught proof your doors without forgetting the mail box if you have one.
3. Turn off the heating if you’re leaving the house for a long time:
This simple action has a big impact when you want to save energy at home. It’s cheaper to turn off the heat than leaving it on when you’re not even there. Some families prefer to turn off the heat while they’re sleeping too. Take this advice into account, but make sure you’ve checked your home’s insulation first, with the help of a professional. You can find ac/vc experts here.
4. Take advantage of natural light to save energy at home:
During the day, keep your house’s curtains open and let in those rays of sunlight through the windows. That way, you’ll avoid having so many lights on and, if it's a good sunny day, you could also enjoy the warm rays of the sun and forget about the heating. This results in a reduced energy expenditure.
5. Keep the lights and electronic devices off if you’re not using them:
Avoid keeping televisions, DVD players, and computers turned on if they are not being used. Many times we get distracted with other chores and leave these devices on wasting energy. Make a habit of reading the electronic devices’ manuals and try to program them with the automatic energy saving setting. That way, when they spend some time without being used, they will automatically go into low energy mode. When buying appliances, keep this idea in mind and choose appliances that have energy saving settings. If you have no idea how to check for this, ask a salesperson or a professional electrician to guide you through the process of choosing the best energy-saving appliances.
6. Pay attention to your washing machine, dishwasher and taps:
You may not know it, but the washing machine is the third most energy and water-consuming appliance in your home (11.8% and 14%, respectively). For this reason, we recommend doing your laundry when you have enough clothes to fill an entire load. Also, remember to use the cold water cycle, because the washing machine actually uses between 80-90% energy just to warm up the water. Making this change will help you save energy at home and money on your bill.
Another tip: Front-load washing machines manage the water in the most efficient way. The same happens with the dishwasher: try to fill it to its maximum capacity before turning it on and use cold water. You can also take advantage of what’s currently on the market: low-flow showerheads and faucets for kitchens and bathrooms. They reduce unnecessary water use by adding air pressure to the flow. Make these changes at home and you will see the difference in your energy bill.
7. Replace bulbs in your home with low-power LEDs:
There are many types of energy-saving bulbs that help save energy at home, an action that will be reflected in your next energy bill. But, do you know the difference between energy efficient bulbs and LED (light emitting diode) lamps? We’ll explain it here: Energy efficient bulbs operate much like incandescent lamps, but they have a longer life span, consume less electricity and produce the same amount of light. In addition, they are "cold" light bulbs because most of the energy they consume turns into light. That's why they last much longer and save energy at home. On the other hand, LED lamps are brighter than regular bulbs, consume less energy and have a lifespan of up to 30 times longer than that of an incandescent lamp. They are basically brighter, spend less energy and help care for the environment.
Take these tips, turn them into a lifestyle and save energy at home during the winter months! Your pocket and the environment will thank you.