Not only will you be helping the environment, you could also get to enjoy both long and short term financial savings.
Let’s take a trip around your home and check out the best ways to save energy:
1) Edit Your Fridge: never fill your fridge completely full, it generally works best when 75% full. Edit your fridge on a regular basis and throw away or compost items that are not going to be used.
2) Keep It Clean: you need to ensure the seals on your fridge door are always clean so that they shut tightly when the door is closed.
Try to prevent build up of food residue or waste.
3) Defrost your Freezer: ice build ups cause freezers to use significantly more electricity so always make sure you defrost it regularly.
If the ice build up is frequent, you may need to replace door seals.
4) Set the Temperature: take care when you set the temperature of your fridge and freezer. This should not be too low or too high.
5) Look at Energy Ratings: if you’re buying a new fridge, freezer or any other kitchen appliance, it’s essential that you look at the energy rating label – you want to get one which has the highest star rating available.
6) Avoid Opening Fridge and Freezer doors: we’ve all been there, opening and closing the fridge door when we’re deciding what to eat. Don’t do it! Keep opening and closing to a minimum to save energy.
7) Use your Microwave: energy can be saved by using a microwave in place of an electric oven due to it’s reduced energy requirements and less cooking time required.
8) Checking On Cooking: if you are using a traditional oven, try to avoid checking on your cooking with endless opening and closing of the oven door. Heat can easily escape this way.
9) Defrost Frozen Food: avoid using a microwave or other kitchen appliance for defrosting food. Try to be organized and allow food to
defrost in the fridge overnight. Always check it’s completely thawed before use to avoid illness or disease.
10) Put Pan Lids On: so many people cook without using pan lids however this means that a huge amount of heat is able to escape.
One of the simplest ways to save energy on a daily basis is to use a pan lid when boiling water.
11) Get the Barbeque On: saving energy can be fun! Why not switch to using your barbeque instead of electric oven or microwave during the Summer months? If you’ve got a covered porch or verandah you could always carry this on through Winter too!
12) Use Hot Water in Dishwasher: to avoid your dishwasher using extra electricity to heat cold water, you can save energy by running your dishwasher on hot water.
13) Load It Up: always make sure you load your dishwasher fully before starting it off. You can also save energy by using the economy cycle which generally reduces the time of the wash.
14) Avoid Use if it’s Hot Outside: using a dishwasher at the hottest time of the day will simply further increase the temperature in your home. This could lead to your air conditioner switching in to reduce the added heat, meaning that you’re using unnecessary electricity.
15) Scrub Plates First: you can avoid using excess hot water by filling a sink with water and scrubbing plates briefly before loading them in the dishwasher. You do not need to fully rinse them with fresh water each time if they are going to be loaded.
16) Think Lighting: alongside heating, lighting can really increase your energy bills yet there are simple ways to cut your energy usage.
Try energy saving LED lamps – although they cost more to buy and install, you’ll see substantial savings in the long term.
17) Keep Things Clean: just a thin layer of dust on light bulbs and lampshades can dramatically reduce the amount of light emitted.
Try to keep on top of cleaning and dusting to ensure you’re not using energy unnecessarily.
18) Use Light Colours: when decorating your living room, remember that light colours will reflect more efficiently thus reducing the need for additional lighting.
19) Make Your Curtains Work: your curtains really can work for you. Keep them closed to keep heat in during dark Winter nights, and open them to let heat out on a warm day. Equally, if you want to warm the room with sunlight, open the curtains to let it warm up a room.
20) Position Ceiling Fans: simple amendments such as positioning your ceiling fan to ‘up’ means that warm air can circulate from the heater at the ceiling. Always run the fan on low to help circulation.
21) Keep Doors Closed: if you’re trying to keep certain rooms warm, always keep the doors closed to keep heat in. If there are spaces in your house that you don’t use, you can simply shut these off to avoid heating unnecessarily.
22) Block Out Draughts: make sure that any cracks around windows and door frames are sealed off to avoid loss of heat or to prevent draughts from coming in. Equally, always block up unused fire places as these can let huge amounts of air in and out.
23) Position Lamps and TVs: appliances such as lamps and televisions can give off a lot of heat. Make sure you don’t position these next to air conditioning units which may end up working over time to reduce heat given off.
24) Clean Filters: always make sure you clean the filters on your heating and cooling appliances. This can help them to run at their most effective and reduce energy usage.
25) Turn Things Off: it’s not just lights that you need to remember to turn off when leaving a room. Always make sure that charging devices are off and do not leave anything on Standby unless entirely necessary.
26) Adjust your Bedding: yet another energy tip that sounds simple but many people don’t do. Always adjust your bedding to suit the
seasons. When Winter comes, put heavier duvets on and use blankets if required. In Summer, use light weight cotton sheets to keep cool.
27) Curtains and Blinds: you can control the amount of heat in your bedroom to a large extent through your use of curtains and blinds.
Remember to keep heat in during Winter and let it out during the Summer months. Choose thicker curtains for cold rooms and light blinds for ones that heat easily.
28) Turn Off Devices: not only will turning off electronic devices such as TVs and phone chargers help to save energy, you may also find it helps to improve the quality of your sleep.
29) Cover the Floor: many people are keen to have stripped back floor boards in the bedroom. Whilst this can look great, it can often mean that the rooms are very cold – always try and use carpet where possible, or cover cold floors with rugs and throws.
30) Insulate Pipes: keep the water in your water heater’s pipes as hot as possible for the longest amount of time by ensuring that pipes are well insulated.
31) Showers over Baths: this tip is widely known but many people still take daily baths. It’s important to remember you could be saving hundreds of dollars a year by switching these to showers which only use a fifth of the water.
32) Time Your Shower: it’s great to enjoy a long shower every so often however you may be surprised by the length of time you’re taking and the amount of water you’re using. Try timing yourself and if it’s over 4 minutes you should try to reduce as often as possible.
33) Fix Dripping Taps: it can be tempting to ignore especially if it’s only a small drip, however you should always fix dripping taps as quickly as possible to avoid spending excess energy.
34) Change Your Showerhead: low flow showerheads can help to cut down energy and hot water usage. In addition, you should regularly clean and descale your showerhead to ensure it can work efficiently without any build up.
35) Turn Off Taps: this may sound simple but many people do not turn taps off tightly enough therefore leaving them to drip throughout the day and potentially amounting to hundreds of litres a year.
36) Check Your Water Heater: always keep an eye on your water heater to ensure there are no pools of water around the base. Cracked or broken water lines can be problematic if less untreated.
37) Think About Solar: if you’re looking to make a real investment in long term energy savings, you may want to consider switching to a solar hot water system. By using the sun’s energy you can hugely reduce your gas and electric bills.
38) Hot Or Cold? : When using your washing machine, ask yourself whether you could avoid using hot water by doing a cold wash.
This can be adequate for some items.
39) Shortest Cycle: always choose the shortest possible cycle for your clothes’ requirements. Many washing machines have Eco
Wash options and the majority of people put washing on longer cycles than actually required.
40) Don’t Overfill: Although you don’t want to waste a cycle by not filling it with many clothes, it’s also really important not to overfill your washing machine as this can cause it to use excess energy and overtime can substantially add to your electricity bills.
41) Dry Outside: Wherever possible, use a clothes line or drying rack to dry your clothes. A dryer will use a huge amount of electricity and should only be used when you have minimal alternatives or need an item immediately.
42) Vent Your Dryer: in order to avoid a build up of moist air in your home, you need to make sure that your dryer is vented to an outdoor point. This will also help the dryer to work at its most efficient and enable better ventilation.
43) Wring Out: Always wring clothes out to remove excess water. By using a little of your own energy, they’ll dry much quicker either in the dryer (therefore using less energy) or on the clothes line.
44) Timing Your Washes: just as when you use your dishwasher, try to time when you use your washing machine or dryer to avoid the hottest parts of the day. This will reduce the likelihood of your air conditioning unit being required to cool down the temperatures caused by using other appliances.
45) Check The Temperature: have a look at what setting your dryer is on. By simply switching it from ‘hot’ to ‘warm’ you will lose less energy with only a little extra time required on each cycle.
46) Use a Cover: this is one of the simplest ways to prevent heat loss from your pool. Invest in a good cover to reduce evaporation and keep the pool warm and pleasant.
47) Filter Usage: as long as your pool’s filter is running for up to 12 hours in the heat of summer, this should be enough. In Winter you can easily halve this time. Lots of people run their filters for far too long.
48) Use Rain Water: when topping up your pool, you can always use rainwater collected in a water butt to reduce your water usage and bills. Just make sure you always test your pool’s chemical balance on a regular basis to ensure everything is safe and hygienic.
49) Get A Net: you can make life a lot easier for your poor filter by using a net to fish out any larger objects or debris that is in your pool. Give some of your energy so your filter doesn’t have to!
So, once you’ve been through all the rooms in your home and made some of these little adjustments, you should be able to notice a reduction in your energy usage and immediate results in terms of your monthly energy bills.
However there are far more ways to save energy on a daily basis both in and outside the home. Check out these general tips to find out how to live energy efficiently and help the planet and your purse strings.
50) Running the Tap: whether it’s getting a glass of water or brushing your teeth, the majority of people run the tap for longer than
necessary. Try to only use the water that you really need, just being aware of this will make your habits change.
51) Thoughtful Use: Try to be thoughtful about your general water use. Whether that’s limiting the amount of baths you have to only 1 or 2 a week, or checking with your partner or flatmate if they need any clothes washing done at the same time when you’re loading the
52) Insulate Your Water Tank: This can prevent a huge amount of energy being lost and will help to keep your hot water use efficient and as low cost as possible.
53) Use a Rain Butt: Although Australia’s climate is often renowned for being warm and dry, collect any rain that comes your way!
Having a method of collection such as a rain butt in your outdoor space will allow you to use this water for things like watering plants.
54) Switch to Solar: this is definitely something to consider when it comes to saving money and reducing your water bills. Solar hot water systems can be expensive to install but you will reap the rewards long term. If you can’t switch to solar, consider switching fuels if it’s
55) Efficient Appliances: always check the efficiency rating of your appliances. If you’re purchasing a new washing machine, dishwasher or even something as small as a shower head, consider it’s efficiency rating and how it can help you to save energy.
56) Switch Off Your Engine: follow the lead of the endless new cars which turn off automatically when stationary in neutral.
Switching off your engine will help to save fuel, even if you’ve just stopped for a few minutes.
57) Drive in a Higher Gear: when appropriate and safe to do so, driving in a higher gear and at lower revs can help to reduce fuel
58) Thoughtful Braking: many people ‘ride’ on the brakes or use them too heavily. Try to anticipate what other road users are doing so that you can avoid sudden braking and acceleration which both increase your fuel consumption.
59) Open the Windows: especially if you’re travelling at a low speed, opening the windows is much more efficient. However at higher speeds it can be better to use air conditioning with all windows shut.
60) Check your Tyre Pressure: if your tyres are under inflated, you may be using much more fuel than necessary. Always check them on a regular basis and especially before a long journey.
61) Buying a New Car: energy efficiency should be a major consideration when you purchase a new car. There are now a huge amount of cars on the market using all types of energy sources so figure out the best option for you.
62) Smaller the Better: whenever you travel, always ensure you take the smallest vehicle possible. Always consider whether you can switch a journey in the car for a walk or bike ride. If you’re using a car, use the smallest for your needs to keep your energy savings
63) Draught Excluders: huge amounts of heat and cool air can be lost or allowed in through cracks around window frames. Always aim to install draught excluders around windows and doors to keep your home warm.
64) Double Glazing: having energy efficient windows will help to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. This will help save money and energy usage as well as offering peace and quiet as noise is blocked.
65) Conservatories: although these are a very popular option in homes across Australia, they are not thermally efficient and shouldn’t be heated. Always allow sun to heat the space during the summer and close off in Winter so they don’t drain heat from the rest of the house.
66) Let in the Light: skylights are a great way to light up a room and you’ll instantly notice how previously dark dingy rooms can seem completely different. You also won’t have to worry about turning lights on and adding lamps, just use natural daylight.
67) Easy Ventilation: skylights are ideal for letting out the hot air, which often accumulates on the ceiling of a room. Skylights can transform stuffy attic rooms adding extra space to your home without the requirement of fans, air conditioners or dehumidifiers.
68) Glazing: when you’re installing skylights, it’s worth considering the material they’re made from and if it’s within your budget, opt for glazed windows to ensure they’re entirely energy efficient.
69) Look Up: huge amounts of heat are lost from badly insulated roofs every Winter. Save energy by ensuring you have efficient insulation and never be afraid to double up insulation for maximum coverage.
70) Down Below: many people forget that as well as an insulated roof, draughts through floors can dramatically jeopardise any attempts to save energy. Make sure your floors are insulated with good quality underlay and carpets.
71) Surroundings: any cavity walls in your home should also be insulated efficiently. Choose your materials with consideration for the usage and the location of your home.
72) Maintain your Roof: it’s all to often that roof damage worsens when it could have been prevented. To keep your energy usage as efficient as possible, maintain your roof by clearing any debris and visually checking it regularly.
73) Insulate Pipes, Tanks and Radiators: by properly insulating pipes, tanks and radiators, you’ll make energy consumption around hot water more efficient and minimize the risks of freezing and burst pipes.
74) Draught Proof Loft Hatches: again, heat can travel too easily in and out of a poorly insulated roof and you need to ensure draughts around loft hatches aren’t adding to the problems.
75) Watch for Moisture: always keep an eye out for draughts in rooms where there is lots of moisture – including kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms.