For the past four decades, energy costs have spiraled 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:
1. 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 begin 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 aircon 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.
4. 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 your 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.
5. Divide business from family consumption
If you run a business at home and you need so many equipment and lighting, it might be wise to divide the use of energy accordingly so that your expenses are separate and you can monitor your use for your personal consumption from the business component.
For those who find no need to separate the two, such as running a dental clinic or a small variety store in front of a house, they may opt to use some appliances for business also for their family use. A freezer inside the store may be used for keeping your meat supply. Or the clinic may be turned into a guest room when you have visitors over a weekend.
6. Renovate to innovate
As a personal challenge or as a hobby, redesign your home in order to lessen energy cost for heating, cooling or lighting may help you save some money. Bigger windows will provide more light during the day so you will not need to have artificial lighting. At night, you can have more air coming in to cool down the interiors. Insulating some rooms facing the sun may also help keep temperatures comfortable all throughout the day and save you some money.
Solar energy is the best way to open up possibilities in energy saving which many people have not explored. The initial cost may be prohibitive; but in the long-run, you can pay for the expense with continuous savings derived from using free solar energy.
7. Keep a healthy lifestyle
Take time to read and discover the many ways you can save energy. Keeping an active and healthy lifestyle, for example, may be one good way to save some of your expense for electricity and cable services. If you have the habit of staying outdoors early in the morning or evening, walking, bird-watching or biking, you will find no need to stay in front of the TV or the PC sitting for hours and spending on energy instead of energizing and keeping your body fit.
There are a lot of ways to do away with wasteful energy use and saving money. It only takes some imagination and a lot of self-sacrifice which can actually equate to self-improvement.