We all use energy daily and are often on our laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles, and WiFi routers. We cook, we iron, we use aircon when it’s hot and heaters when it’s cold.
We have water heaters for hot water, washing machines, clothes dryers, and TVs. We use power tools and sewing machines, and most household appliances run on energy. This shows how much we can spend on our energy bills, and it can hit our pockets hard!
With the increased cost of energy, you’re probably seeing your gas and electricity bills soaring through the roof. Here are simple tips that can help you save money on your energy bill.
All electrical appliances use energy, but some use more than others. You need to know which appliances and gadgets are guzzling most of your energy.
Let’s dive right in and list the biggest power-guzzlers in Australian homes.
- Heaters and air cons
- Water heaters
- Fridges and freezers
- Washing machines and dryers
- “Vampire” appliances
Heating and cooling are the biggest culprits using 40% of your household energy, with hot water taking up a whopping 25%. Fridges and freezers use up to 13%. Lighting takes around 10% of your power, and those little monster “vampire appliances” never stop guzzling unless you turn them right off!
A little more about Vampire Appliances
“Vampire” appliances are gadgets that continually suck energy even when turned off. This is because they don’t power down but instead go into standby mode. This means you are paying for power while not actively using it.
Examples of “vampire” appliances are:
- Air conditioners
- Gaming consoles
- Coffee machines
In short, a “vampire” appliance is an electrical gadget that drains away your power. Even when you think it’s turned off, it lurks in stand-by mode, sneakily slurping up your energy. The standby factor can account for up to 10% of your power consumption.
Tips for Cutting Down on Power Consumption
Let’s take our appliances individually and see how we can save on energy costs.
- Heating and Cooling
Try to keep the temperature set between 20 and 26 degrees celcius. You don’t need to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt inside in winter.
Also, insulate by fixing leaks (like gaps around windows) and using door snakes—thick curtains in winter and blinds in summer help to maintain a more comfortable temperature.
Lastly, close the doors to rooms, not in use. The smaller the area to heat or cool, the lower the cost.
Another good tip is regularly cleaning your air conditioner filters to ensure maximum efficiency and minimal power consumption.
- Water Heater
Instead of the traditional water heater, consider a solar water heating option or a reclaim heat pump. Both of these work pretty well and cut your costs immensely. Other than that, you can:
- Take a shower instead of a bath.
- Invest in a water-efficient showerhead.
- Use cold water for laundry
- Insulate your hot water pipes.
- Turn off your water heater during the day, and keep the thermostat at 60 degrees for storage.
- Fridges and Freezers
Helping your fridge stay cool will help reduce your energy costs. The ways you can do this are:
- Check door seals to ensure they don’t need replacing.
- Never put hot food in your fridge/freezer. Let it cool down first.
- Defrost your fridge/freezer regularly.
- Make sure the door is closed correctly.
- Ensure a good flow of air around the fridge so the air can move around the appliance, cooling it from the outside.
- Washing Machines and Dryers
It costs more upfront, but a heat pump dryer is more energy efficient than a traditional clothes dryer. Front-loaders use less water than top loaders and are generally cheaper to run. Also, you will save hugely by only using the cold water wash cycle.
You can cut costs by switching to LED lights and installing sensors. Use solar outdoor lighting and take advantage of natural light and sunlight by installing skylights. Make sure that these are well-insulated, though.
Don’t use your dishwasher after every meal. Wait until it’s full before you run it. This will save on water and energy costs. Also, ensure your machine is set to eco mode function, which will conserve power.
- “Vampire” Appliances
These sneaky little guzzlers must be turned off at the wall when not in use. If you’re not sure which are and which aren’t “vampire” appliances, rather turn off all devices on the wall, just to be sure.
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