For the past four decades, energy costs have spiralled beyond control and now eat up a lot of every family’s budget. But most people are not aware of simple energy-saving tips they could easily practice and save a lot of money they could use for other vital expenses.
Whether we are talking about electricity or gas, we can do something about the high cost of energy consumption. Here are a few easy to do tips:
- Every small thing adds up to big expense
The casual way most people treat energy use leads them to waste a lot of money. Leaving small gadgets and appliances left plugged into outlets, such as cellphone chargers, unused PC’s, TV, aircons and electric fans can consume energy because of their standby mode features. They may not consume much when unused; but when left for hours, they could still add up to a sizeable chunk of a kilowatt-hour. In some cases such as defective electric fans, they could be actually pose as fire hazards when they are on and people think they are not and beign to heat up and burst into flames.
In the case of gas, an expert driver and energy-saving guru once advised that idling your car for just two minutes before driving off is sufficient to warm up the engine without wasting so much gas or damaging your engine. Most people warm their vehicles up for ten minutes or more, wasting so much gas and even polluting their own homes. Add up the daily waste of gas incurred which you could convert into actual mileage you get from your car.
- Economic use of your air-conditioner
Use of the air-conditioner in warm climates cuts a big slice into a family’s budget. But the wise and self-sacrificing individual can do something to reduce the cost of its use. At night, when the temperature goes down a bit, you can turn on the aircon for an hour or two instead of the expected eight hours till morning and cool down your room comfortably throughout the night. When it gets warm in between, you can turn on a fan to cool you down. You can save more than fifty percent of the usual cost of running the aircon all-night-long.
Or you can opt to turn on the aircon all night but keeping the thermostat at the minimum. That way, you keep the room at a comfortable level without having to allow the condenser to work so much. A 10 to 20 % saving can be attained through this.
- Schedule your use of energy to avoid wastage
Cooking can add a big cost to your energy use from other sources. For instance, if you live in a condo which you normally keep cool with a fan or an aircon, turning on the stove can raise the temperature and increase your expense. Having an exhaust fan to drive away heated air may help; but the better thing to do is to turn off the aricon and use a fan alone. You may also design the unit in order to isolate the kitchen from your living room.
Having so many gadgets that emit heat (PC, TV, water cooler and decors that use electricity) may also add up heat to your unit tremendously without you noticing it. Distributing them around your unit (keep the TV in the room while the PC should be placed in the living room) or scheduling their use so as not to create a multiplier -effect.
- Keeping a simple lifestyle
Keeping a minimalist attitude in life may actually be the answer to reducing energy cost. Do you really need a big flat TV or two other monitors for your laptop? Can you not do with a smaller house than one that is oversized for you family?
Estimating your energy cost based on your lifestyle choices can bring a lot of savings. And choosing to be frugal when it comes to energy expense can free some funds for other beneficial use, such as education for the kids.