Electricity prices don’t often get cheaper, so if you want to save money on energy bills, you need to find novel ways to do it yourself. As energy prices keep rising, it makes sense to make a few changes around the home to ensure you keep your bills manageable. You might be surprised, but you can create an energy efficient house much more easily than you think, and it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune in the process. Here are 10 ways to save energy at home.
Save energy with an energy efficiency audit
As the name suggests, an energy efficiency audit involves inspecting your home for electrical systems and appliances that aren’t energy-efficient. Scheduling a regular inspection with your local electrician is a great way to keep your energy costs down. As an expert in the electrical field, your electrician can recommend upgrades to make your home cheaper to run. While some suggestions may come at a cost, these upgrades save you money in the long term and also future-proof your home in a rapidly changing technological age.
Replace old appliances with energy-efficient home appliances
One of the energy-efficiency upgrades your electrician might suggest involves your appliances. Generally, older appliances are less energy-efficient and should ideally be replaced. Fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and air conditioning units are all big culprits when it comes to energy use, so these are the appliances to focus on when upgrading to more energy-efficient models. Always check the energy ratings on white goods before purchasing.
Consider solar energy
Solar energy is extremely popular in Australia and South Brisbane, where the sun shines beautifully. Solar installations cost money up front, however there are government rebates available to make it easier for homeowners to make the switch.
Basically, while the sun shines, your home is powered by free, clean energy from the sun. If you invest in a solar battery, you can even store excess power to use at night. Alternatively, you can get credits on your electricity bill for any excess solar you export to the main grid.
It costs a bit to set up, but most solar systems pay for themselves in 4-5 years and then the savings are all yours.
Upgrade to energy-efficient LED lighting
One of the most popular household upgrades is lighting. Firstly, LED lighting costs far less to run than traditional light bulbs. Secondly, they last a lot longer, meaning you won’t have to replace light bulbs as frequently. Thirdly, installing new lights is one of the cheaper energy efficiency upgrades you can do, making it accessible for most people. Everybody uses lights in their home, and they find some nice energy savings when they replace recessed lighting with LED.
Weatherstripping your windows
This is another cost-effective way to save energy around the home. Weatherstripping the spaces around your doors and windows allows less hot air into your home during summer, and less cold air in during winter. This means your heating and cooling systems don’t need to work as hard, saving you money on air conditioner usage.
Best of all, weatherstripping is available from all hardware stores and is inexpensive. It’s also super easy for anybody to install.
Invest in insulation
Like solar energy, this tip costs a little more than the others. But investing in insulation is another way to save money on energy bills. As you try to heat or cool your home, air escapes through the walls, floor and ceiling. This means your heating and cooling systems constantly work harder to replace the lost warm or cool air. Insulation significantly reduces this air movement, meaning you can easily keep your internal spaces at a comfortable temperature.
You can install some types of insulation yourself. However, wall and under-floor insulation is a little more tricky. Still, if it improves your home’s liveability and saves you money on power bills, it’s a good investment.
Harness natural light
Even if you’ve switched to LED lights, there’s no need to use them all the time if you don’t have to. In cooler months, open the blinds and let natural sunlight fill your home. You may want to be a little more careful in summer, but natural light is still far better than even LED lighting.
By lighting your home with natural light, you not only save on lighting costs, but it can also warm up your home during colder months, once again, meaning your heating system doesn’t need to work as hard.
Operate appliances in off-peak time
If your electricity retailer offers peak and off-peak pricing, you can save a lot of money by being smart about when you consume energy. There is usually a considerable difference between the peak and off-peak costs.
Peak times are typically in the early morning and evening when most people are home and using electricity. So, try to run expensive appliances during the day (or during any off-peak period). This includes dishwashers and washing machines, which use a lot of power. If you’re not at home during the day, try to set these appliances to operate while you’re at work.
Reduce hot water usage
Everybody loves a nice, long, hot shower, but the reality is, that hot water is expensive. In fact, it’s one of the biggest contributors to the average household electricity bill. So, whenever using hot water, think about whether it’s really necessary. For example, do you need to wash clothes in hot water? Try the warm or cold setting to save money.
Ensure dishwashers are fully stacked before using them, as this reduces hot water usage considerably. And, of course, with those hot showers, you may just need to cut them back a little. Some people find setting a stopwatch or alarm on their phone extremely effective to encourage faster showers.
Turn off unused appliances
Most household appliances have a standby mechanism, meaning they use minimal power unless you turn them on properly. However, when you consider the number of appliances and devices in modern Australian homes, that tiny bit of power use adds up. Most people aren’t realistically going to turn every single item off at the power point, but if you have appliances that aren’t used daily, it’s a good idea to turn them off and save some power in the process. Also, if you don’t have surge protection on your power boards, appliances can be damaged if left on during a surge or blackout, so switching things off when not in use is best.
Saving energy at home doesn’t need to cost a lot of money or time. You can make small changes to make your home a more energy-efficient house. Try to implement some of these ways to save energy in your home, and sit back and enjoy the savings. For an energy efficiency audit, Sorted Electrical is here to help. If you’d like a comprehensive energy efficiency audit or any other electrical services, call your trusted electrician in South Brisbane today.