10 Ways to Save on Electricity this Summer
As you might have noticed, it’s already summer. It’s that time of the year when we have to use our air-conditioning units and fans for longer periods. It’s also the opportunity for students who are in their summer vacation to spend more time playing games on their PCs and consoles. Ultimately, this also means a higher electricity bill. And we all know that this takes a big chunk of your budget every month. So if you want to save on electricity this summer, here are ten ways.
1. Unplug all appliances when not in use.
This is probably the most well-known energy saving tip that your parents, even your teachers, have been telling you ever since you were a kid. Switching off your electrical appliances doesn’t always mean that they’re not drawing power due to what we call standby power or vampire power. To make sure, just keep your appliances unplugged when not in use. The same applies to laptops and desktop computers. If you’re not going to use them for hours, just shut it down instead of putting it to sleep to conserve battery. It might be cumbersome for some but it should benefit you in the long run.
2. Use natural light and energy efficient light bulbs.
Open those curtains. One way to save on electricity is to not use light bulbs during the day. If the sun is up just draw those curtains to let more natural light in. You might need to move some furniture like your desk and work areas near the window if you want better illumination.
For light bulbs, you might want to replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient light bulbs like Compact Fluorescents (CFLs), or better yet, with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LEDs are more expensive though but they consume less power and lasts longer. In addition, try to place your bulbs in locations where it can illuminate multiple spaces at the same time. You can also be more efficient by using smaller bulbs in smaller rooms. Lastly, like what is advised in number one, turn off the lights when not in use and clean them every now and then.
3. Use energy efficient air-conditioners/refrigerators.
Air-conditioning units consumes a lot of power that often it makes us think twice of using it more frequently. But if an AC is a must then you might want to consider getting Inverter-equipped models. For comparison, non-Inverter ACs use a fixed speed and fixed amount of power, meaning it starts and stops every time it needs to maintain the desired room temperature. Think of it as a car that can only run on 0 and 60 Kph speeds which is not really efficient.
Inverter AC systems, on the other hand, take advantage of varying compressor speeds to do its job. If the room needs a lot of cooling it will operate at a high-speed to quickly lower the temperature. When the ideal temperature is achieved it will then operate at a lower speed to save power. On the downside, Inverter ACs are more expensive compared to non-Inverter types. But if you have the budget and want to save money on your electricity bill in the long run, then go for Inverter ACs.
4. Improve ventilation.
Aside from utilizing natural light, you can save electricity by improving your house’s ventilation by opening your windows and curtains and allow air to flow freely. This will in turn keep your house cool during the summer. Exhaust fans can also be utilized, although it also consumes electricity, the consumption is lesser compared to an air-conditioner.
5. Clean and maintain your appliances.
Cooling appliances like the air-conditioners, electric fans, and refrigerators need to be regularly cleaned and kept in good condition if you don’t want them to consume more power than normal. ACs and fans need to be cleaned more often as they accumulate dust which in turn hinders their efficiency to keep things cool. If you’re a desktop PC user, the same concept applies. Refrigerators, on the other hand, need to be defrosted regularly as too much frost affects their efficiency. Also check if the refrigerator’s door gasket is still in good working condition to make sure that no air is leaking out.
6. Take note of (EER).
Since we’re already talking about ACs and refrigerators, it pays to take note of an appliance’s EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio when buying one. Look for the Energy Guide label and check the EER. A higher EER value means a more efficient unit and a lower operating cost.
7. Go for DIY solutions.
If you don’t have an AC or the AC takes a big chunk of your monthly electricity bill, you can also opt for DIY solutions. One good example is this homemade AC. Watch the video below.
8. Harness the power of the sun.
Since it’s summer and the skies are mostly clear during the day, you can also save electricity by using the sun as an alternative power source. Solar panels are now available for regular consumers and can be bought in some shops in the Metro. Even CDR-King is selling solar panels and other solar powered gadgets. Solar-powered systems for the home are expensive though but if you have the cash and don’t want to depend on the grid for all of your power needs, solar is a good alternative.
9. Go offline.
This is probably the most boring suggestion of all but it is the most effective. Summer time, especially for students, is a chance to stay at home, play games on their PCs or consoles or watch TV the whole day. But if you want save on electricity then you might as well try to lessen the hours you spend using devices that consumers power. Go offline and get yourselves involved in activities that don’t rely on electricity such as reading, biking, or hanging out with friends. Or you can do number 7.
10. Be efficient.
You can save electricity by being efficient at what you do. Don’t buy a huge AC if you have a small room or don’t use an AC when your fan is enough. If you’re just checking on Facebook or Twitter use your mobile device instead of firing up your PC or laptop. If you’re listening music on your own you can use headphones instead of your home speaker systems. If you have few clothes to wash do it by hand instead of using the washing machine. If your home appliances or gadgets have power saving features, use them. And as our moms used to say, don’t leave the refrigerator’s door open for too long.
And that sums it up. I’m sure there are more ways to save electricity so if you have something in mind that is not included in the list, feel free to share them below.