Tips to save energy at home
It is May now and all I could say is “Summer is here”. Summers are associated with hot days outside and ACs running at low temperatures, fans at high speeds. It is a season of mangoes, speaking it’s a season of fruits where we get to eat watermelon, muskmelon, strawberries, jackfruit and litchi. My mouth is all waters as I’m writing. And homes. They turn out to be the pleasant, if possible the noisiest in these summers with children playing all around. Now comes the sagely talk (Just joking). With people all around the house, the bill is always turning out to be huge. We were wondering if there are any simple ways in which you can reduce the bill as well make the house comfortable to live in.
Here are some tips which we thought might be useful to you:
1. Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy efficient alternatives. Light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25–80% less electricity and last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
And I don’t think they are expensive nowadays. What we would suggest is a quick replacement of the lights because they reflect immediately in your electricity bills.
2. Use smart power strips at the switchboards
“Phantom loads,” or the electricity used by electronics when they are turned off or in standby mode, are a major source of energy waste. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off, which can cost you up to Rs.8000 per year. Smart power strips, also known as advanced power strips, eliminate the problem of phantom loads by shutting off the power to electronics when they are not in use. Smart power strips can be set to turn off at an assigned time, during a period of inactivity, through remote switches, or based on the status of a “master” device.
3. Shut doors and close curtains
Cooling the whole house can be expensive. Where possible, shut doors to areas you are not using and only cool the rooms you spend the most time in.Make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly, and keep your curtains closed during the day when there is a heat-wave. Block draughts around doors and windows to stop cool air leaking out.
Use external shading, such as external blinds or canvas awnings, to keep the sun off the windows.
4. Set your thermostat
In summer, set your thermostat at 24°C. Infact instant cooling consumes lot more energy. For every degree you decrease in the AC setting, the power consumption increases by 5%. So setting the AC at 20°C means your consumption in the bill increases by 20% instead of 24°C or 25°C.
5. Turn off appliances especially ACs when not in use
6. Run your fridge efficiently
Your fridge is always on, making it one of your most expensive appliances. Make sure the door seal is tight and free from gaps so cold air can’t escape. An ideal fridge temperature is 4 or 5 degrees and an ideal freezer temperature is minus 15 to minus 18 degrees Celsius. If you have a second fridge or freezer, only turn it on when you need it.
7. Insulate your roof
An insulated ceiling makes a big difference to your energy bills. If you already have insulation installed, check that it is properly installed and has the right rating (measured in ‘R-value’).
8. Understanding and improving your home’s energy usage
A Scorecard assessment looks at the fixed features of your home — the way it’s built and insulated, heated and cooled, your lighting and water heating — and suggests the most effective changes you can make to reduce your power use and increase your comfort.
There are home automation devices available in the market which help you attain your goals and maintain scorecard in the app. If you feel your finances will support, then it’s worth trying it out.
These are some of the suggestions which we felt might be useful to you. But it is suggestions and tricks from you which you might have already tried, that would be useful to a lot of people. Please do share such experiences and tricks in the comments below.