In the following we show how a few tweaks to your lifestyle and the adoption of some simple habits can result in a significant reduction in your energy usage and help you save on your power bills.
1. Don't feed your fridge
As one of the most energy hungry appliances in your home, ensuring your fridge is running efficiently is a key to avoiding unnecessary strain on your electricity usage. If you’re shopping for a new fridge, make sure it has at least a 2.5-star energy rating. Keep your fridge temperature at between 3°C and 5°C in the fresh food section and between -15°C and -18°C in the freezer to maximise cooling while minimising energy use.
2. The $5 seal test
Check your fridge’s door seals regularly. If you can slip a $5 note between the fridge and the door, it’s time to have your seals replaced.
3. Stock up, but don't go overboard
Keep your fridge and freezer full (but don’t over-fill them), as this means it’s always running at its optimum. Most importantly, if you have a ‘beer’ fridge in the garage, either make sure it’s always full (not necessarily with beer!), or turn it off when not in use. Running a second fridge that isn’t operating efficiently is going to have a significant impact on your electricity bills.
4. Get 'smart' on standby
Things like TVs and other entertainment devices use standby power even when they are turned off, which can amount to a lot of dollars added to your electricity bill over a year. One solution is to turn these devices off at the wall, but this isn’t always possible, as power sockets are often behind furniture and out of reach. In this instance, investing in a good quality ‘smart’ powerboard is the answer, as these cut out after the device has been in standby for a period of time.
5. Vampires be gone
Devices that continue to drain power when they’re not in use have been dubbed ‘vampire’ devices, for obvious reasons. These include phone chargers, computers, tablets and microwave ovens, which should all be turned off at the wall when not in use. And you might want to consider turning your Wifi modem off overnight and/or when you’re not using it – you’ll be surprised how taking these small steps can have a big impact on your energy bills.
6. Be active about passive
Regardless of how you heat or cool your house – whether it’s a split system, reverse cycle, evaporative cooler, ducted heating or gas wall heating – using passive heating and cooling strategies on top of your current system can not only add to the comfort of your home but reduces your reliance on electricity and/or gas. Whether you’re heating or cooling the house, doing so slowly over time and taking measures to prevent the hot or cool air escaping – blinds, curtains and draft stoppers, for example — is the most efficient way to stay comfortable without using too much energy.
7. Some like it (not too) hot
Hot water can contribute up to 17% of your household’s energy usage, so ensuring it is running efficiently can significantly reduce your bills. Adjusting the thermostat to 60°C is the easiest way to make sure your system is running at optimum efficiency. Other measures you can take include turning the system off when you’re on holidays and reducing the thermostat’s temperature during warmer weather.
8. Become a light saver
Turning lights off when you leave the room and lamps off at the wall is one of the simplest steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption. Using LED bulbs will also benefit your bottom line, as these can add up to big savings over time. And the same goes for the lighting in your garage, of course.
9. Small changes, big savings
Did you know that the laundry and bathroom combined can chew through a large portion of your household’s energy use? Yet they are two rooms where a few small changes can make a big difference. For starters, make it a habit to wash your clothes in cold water and, when the sun’s out, hang your clothes outside rather than using the dryer. If you are using the dryer, always clean out the lint filter as this will assist it to run more efficiently. In the bathroom, keep showers to a minimum. About 3 minutes is considered the optimum time, conserving on water usage as well as hot water. And always turn the tap off while you’re cleaning your teeth!
10. Insulate & conserve
One of the best ways to conserve energy is to insulate your home, as this keeps you cooler in summer and warmer in winter and reduces your reliance on appliances. You may also like to consider insulating your garage, which prevents heat and cold transfer between your garage and your home and protects your car, workshop and the stuff you store in your garage from extreme weather. Read our post on the subject to find out more about the benefits of an insulated garage door.
Talk to Best Doors to find out more about the quality insulated garage doors we supply and install. Visit our website or give us a call on 1800 066 142.