15 Energy Sins You Might Be Committing
31 jul 2018
It’s time to take control of those bills!
Are your bad habits siphoning your dollars away? Many of us have developed mindless routines over the years that could be costing us hundreds.
It’s time to take control of your bills, and it’s as much to do with small behavioral changes as it is about minor home improvements. The following simple tips can help reduce that energy bill, so you can save your coins for the more important things.
How many energy sins are you guilty of?
1. Not using your natural resources
Working with mother nature can do wonders for your energy bill. In winter, keep your shades open during the day, and trap the heat in at night. In Summer, keep your house cool and dark during the day, and let the breeze in while you sleep.
Allowing your clothes to dry outdoors, and planning ahead with your washing (so you’re not relying on your dryer every morning) are also good money savers, not to mention great habits for your kids to observe.
2. Letting the air escape
A poorly sealed home could be the reason your air con is getting such a workout. If you find your home loses it’s pleasant temperature unusually fast, have a professional locate those cracks you might have missed in your skirting boards, floorboards, windows and doors. You’d be surprised how quickly hot/cold air escapes.
3. Overworking your fridge
Did you know people spend around 10.4 hours a year staring into their fridge? While you’re fantasising about your lunch, take the opportunity to check your temperature settings. Between 4°C and 5°C is recommended for the fridge, and -20°C for your freezer.
Quick Tip: if you can slide a piece of paper into your fridge, it’s time for a new seal!
4. Not Doing Your Research
Not all bulbs are created equal! Those cheap lights could be costing you a lot more in the long run. Investing in dimmer lights can help, and make sure you’re investing in an aircon that’s designed to fit your living space.
5. Leaving your mobile or laptop plugged in overnight.
Not only is this high temperature and voltage stress terrible for your battery health, it’s a poor energy-wasting habit.
6. Leaving your electronics on standby
Your appliances are still draining energy when you’re not using them. In fact, it’s estimated that items on standby could be contributing up to 10% of your bill.
7. Not waiting for a full load
ONLY turn your dishwasher or washing machine on once it’s full. Using a dishwasher can use less water than doing it the old-fashioned way, but only if you follow this rule.
8. Indulgent showers
We won’t begrudge you a relaxing hot shower on a winter's night, but if you can’t cut down on your water therapy session, try lowering the maximum hot water temperature throughout your home. On that note, 30% confess to leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth! These careless habits could be contributing to your expenses.
9. Being lazy with your air filters
When air filters are clogged, it forces your system to work harder and use unnecessary energy for the same result, so make sure you’re cleaning them out regularly. It's also a good idea to get your ducted air conditioner checked for leaks and cracks overtime which can contribute significantly to your bill.
If you have poor indoor air quality to begin with, including problems with humidity, it’s worth the investment in an an conditioner that can tackle these issues.
10. Skimping on the Insulation
Insulate your home and help to establish a comfortable temperature average in your home. Draught proofing, heavy drapes and and external blinds can also be helpful alternatives.
11. Not planning ahead
If you know it’s going to be a particularly hot or cold day, avoid sending your air conditioner into overdrive once your home starts to feel uncomfortable. Instead, preempt your needs and start a little earlier.
12. Overestimating what you need
Most people feel perfectly comfortable at a pleasant 24-26 degrees. You don’t need as much as you think!
Remember that each 1°C increase makes a noticeable impact on your energy usage.
13. Using inefficient showerheads
Old fashioned and cheap shower heads are notorious for their poor water use, so make the investment in a water-efficient showerhead. Don’t send your money down the drain!
14. Mindless kitchen habits
Using the wrong sized pot or pan can increase your time spent cooking, not to mention your energy use. That’s not the only bad habit people confess to - one study found 17% of boil a full kettle even if making just one cup of tea. Being more mindful of these small money-saving habits can have a great flow-on effect to other areas of your life.
15. Not dressing for the occasion
You may enjoy repping your summer PJ’s all year round, but relying on your heating to keep you warm rather than layering up is a huge energy sin. Invest in some thick socks and wool items, and you’ll forget about reaching for that heater remote.