7 Tips to Conserve More Energy at Home
Whether you’re a homeowner aiming to cut the costs of your utilities or someone who wants to minimise their carbon footprint and help the planet by reducing their energy usage, or perhaps a combination of the two, it’s no wonder you’re looking for ways to conserve more energy at home.
Luckily, you can do many things simply by making a few changes to your home life to reduce the amount of energy you use, lower your carbon footprint and cut household costs as a result.
Here are our top 7.
1. Opt for cold water where possible.
Though we’re not expecting you to take cold showers every day for the rest of your life – though by all means, go for it if you want to – using cold water to wash the dishes, do your laundry and clean your hands can make a massive difference to your energy consumption.
This is because a lot of energy is used to heat cold water to provide us with hot water. While these small changes won’t present a massive inconvenience to your life, accumulatively, they could make a huge difference to the planet.
2. Turn off appliances at the wall.
Unbeknown to many, when you leave your appliances on stand-by – a.k.a. when the plug is still switched on at the wall – electricity is still being used within the socket, contributing to overall energy usage, even when you aren’t using your appliances.
With this in mind, always turn your switches off at the wall when you’re not using your appliances – particularly at night when they could spend 8+ hours guzzling energy unnecessarily.
3. Consider using power strips.
Although turning off your sockets at the wall can help reduce energy waste, some electricity can still gather here and therefore be wasted.
Power strips are designed to shut off the electricity completely when sockets aren’t being used; they can be programmed to ensure the electricity is shut off at night and can even recognise when an appliance hasn’t been used in a while, automatically shutting the electric off after periods of inactivity.
4. Upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs.
The incandescent light bulbs most popular in years gone by used a significant amount of energy to light up our homes.
Now, however, there are tons of different energy-efficient light bulbs to choose from – and though they might be slightly more expensive to purchase, they pay for themselves in the long run while helping you do your bit for the planet.
5. Take multiple measures to insulate your home.
Much of the energy we use to heat – or cool down – our homes ends up being wasted since our houses aren’t that well adept at keeping the heat in (or out).
So, to help maintain your home’s temperature with as little energy as possible, ensure that your attic is fully insulated, and consider upgrading to double-pane windows, which are better at conserving heat.
To stop the air inside your home from escaping – and to prevent air from the outside from rushing in – make sure to seal any cracks in your walls or around your doors and windows that could contribute to your high heating bill (and carbon footprint).
Likewise, insulating household features such as your water tank or pipes with blankets – designed for insulation purposes – can help keep your water hot, thus reducing the energy used to reheat the water.
6. Embrace air drying.
So many appliance-aided processes we carry out on a day-to-day basis can be done manually, without the need to use any energy at all.
In particular: air drying, since there are tons of things we dry with machines that we don’t need to.
A few swaps include:
- Forgoing your hair dryer and let your hair dry naturally after a shower.
- Hanging your laundry on a washing line or a drying rack after washing.
- Washing/drying your plates rather than using the dishwasher.
7. Clean/upgrade old appliances.
Old appliances often use up more energy than newer appliances – mainly because, over time, their ability to function decreases, and they require more energy to complete the same actions they did when they were new.
Sometimes, simply giving the inner workings of your appliances a deep clean – or even doing something as simple as removing the lint from your washing machine or the dust from your air conditioning unit – can make your appliances work more efficiently.
In other instances, upgrading to a more up-to-date, energy-efficient appliance might be better.