Everyone has their routine or their way of organising household chores, and this is something that is reflected each day in the energy consumption of a home. For both the more organised and those who do not take into account how often they use appliances, these are very useful tips and recommendations. See what can be improved and how.
Daily tips for saving on electricity
The first of the tips is logical, especially in the winter months: make the most of natural light. If your desk or computer is placed under a window, you will get more out of the daylight and it will also be more comfortable, since you will not have to strain your eyes as much. Obviously, this is not always possible when it comes to homes on the inside of a building, and winter time does not help.
As we move on to talking about artificial light, it is important to review the light bulbs in the house and change any conventional ones for low consumption bulbs (if you have not done so already). Although they are a bit more expensive, they consume up to 4 to 5% less electricity. They also last longer, and their expense pays for itself in less than a year.
More efficient washing machine and dishwasher
The following tips have to do with the appliances that we use at home very frequently. When running the washing machine or dishwasher, as much as possible, it is best to avoid using programs that use hot water or take a long time.
When you are going to use the washing machine, cut down on the amounts of detergent and fabric softener. If you add too much, the rinse cycle will be prolonged. In the same way, the more time it takes to wash a load in the machine, the more you spend. If you wash at 30ºC instead of 40º, the savings will be significant and the clothes will still be properly washed. If you have to use hot water, a 40°C wash saves 25% of the electricity used at 60°C.
As for the dishwasher, it is advisable to make the most of the space and run it only when it is full. If you have the 'eco' wash option, electricity consumption can be reduced by up to 40%.
Do you save as much as possible in the kitchen?
Your refrigerator or fridge-freezer use up almost a third of your electricity consumption and, whether you like it or not, they need to be on all the time. The temperature must be checked regularly: +5°C is sufficient for a refrigerator and -17°C for a freezer. You also have to optimise how you store things in the fridge so that the cold is distributed correctly, and another tip is not to put away food while it is hot. As for the freezer, the ideal is to defrost it once every three months.
When it comes to cooking, if you have an induction hob, there are some very useful little tips, such as covering the pot when boiling water. In this way you will use four times less electricity. The microwave is a very popular appliance, both for heating food and defrosting it. But in the latter case it is best to avoid doing this, just defrost the food at room temperature. You just have to organise yourself better.
If you are one of those people who often uses the oven, you will know that it should not be opened while it is on. Doing this wastes 20% of the stored energy, and the cooking can be monitored perfectly well from outside without the need to keep opening the door. Another trick is to turn the oven off ahead of time and take advantage of the residual heat. Proper maintenance is also very important: if it is clean, it will be more efficient. Every so often your oven will tell you it needs to be cleaned: this is what is called pyrolysis, and these warnings should not be ignored. And, of course, there are oven recipes designed to save.
Unplug what is not being used and optimise
Other recommendations are not to leave electrical appliances plugged in, in sleep mode or on stand-by, if you are not using them. The same goes for chargers for mobile phones and computers. And, if you have an electric water heater in the house, it is advisable to plug it in only during the hours of the day when it is needed.
Also, pay attention to bad habits. Did you know that a television consumes 12% of the total electricity consumed by household appliances? Very often we turn it on and hardly pay attention to it, but for some strange reason it seems we like to have it on in the background. You must avoid this, and also take into account for future purchases that televisions with LED technology consume up to 40% less than plasma screens and 25% less than LCDs.
In the same way, avoid leaving lights on if you are not going to be in that part of the house or that room. It's something that happens very often in every home: it's about being a little less absent-minded and paying more attention to these things.
Daily tips for saving on your gas bill