We could say that electricity is the engine of our home, but more generally it would be impossible to think of a world without it. It is no coincidence that there are many households and entire countries that are trying to make the ultimate switch to electricity as the only element, saving gas. If we think about home appliances, electronic devices and whatnot, we realize how crucial it is. However, at the end of the month we also realize the financial outlay involved. That is why today we will look together at a comprehensive guide to saving electricity in the home!
Let’s start with the washing machine, a household appliance that we are sure to find in every home. Are there ways to mitigate costs through scheduling strategies, washing and various tricks? Of course there are! Let’s find out together right now!
Programs and temperatures
Washing machine programs and temperatures might be underestimated elements here but let me assure you that they are instead very important. Each washing machine has programs indicated according to the fabrics you need to treat, but there is also the possibility of converting them to eco programs, which are very functional for the purpose of savings. Whenever possible, choose them so as to waste less water and energy. In relation to temperatures, it is good not to overdo it by always washing laundry at exaggerated temperatures. Always keep to 86/104 degrees and increase them only when necessary.
Another habit that could facilitate savings is to set start times for washing, so that you can regulate your times, being sure that you can lay them out. I tell you this because it often happens that laundry stays for hours and hours in the drum, accumulates bad odors and afterwards you have to wash them again, starting a waste of energy.
Probably the most important factor is the time you start the washing machine. You will know that, depending on one’s tariff, there are time slots when it costs less to do the washing machine, so it would be preferable to make the most of these hours. If you have monorail tariffs it means that you pay the same price in all hours, so the argument does not interest you that much. So, let’s look at the time bands together:
First Band: active from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 19:00. This is the band with the highest consumption.
Second Band: active Monday through Friday from 07:00 to 08:00 and Saturday from 07:00 to 23:00. There is an average consumption here.
Third Band: active from Monday to Saturday from 00:00 to 07:00 and from 23:00 to 24:00. On Sundays and holidays, it is also active all the time. Here are the times when there is the biggest savings.
Watch out for cleaning
If you neglect the cleaning of the washing machine, you not only incur problems with the operation of the appliance, but there is a risk of increasing energy costs. Household appliances in general should be treated with extreme care and should never be put under stress. In the case, for example, of heavily fouled pipes and excessively dirty basket, the washing machine in this case will struggle twice as hard to perform all its functions, taking more time and, consequently, more energy. Ideally, therefore, it would be best to do some vacuum washing every month with natural ingredients such as 2 cups of vinegar or 1 lbs of coarse salt.
Should they be changed?
Precisely because of their delicacy, household appliances, alas, have a beginning and an end. If your washing machine is particularly old and you see that it is giving more and more problems in terms of breakdowns and functions that are not performed properly, perhaps it is time to change it. Very often it is more cost-effective to get a new washing machine than to continue to adjust to an underperforming model; it is just a waste of effort and money.
Having concluded all the factors to pay attention to with the washing machine, let’s move right on to the dishwasher! Unlike the washing machine, we are not sure that the dishwasher can always be found in every home, but it is still a super popular appliance. So, let’s see together how to save money!
Dishwasher watchword: cleanliness!
One should never underestimate the importance of having this element of the home always at its best, also because food residues accumulate in the dishwasher, which can lead to a general breakdown. Also, as mentioned above for the washing machine, a dirty dishwasher will take twice as long to finish washing, bringing higher costs on the utility bill. The solution to all of this is vacuum washing, which should always be done once a month with 2 cups of baking soda in the bottom or 2 cups of vinegar.
Similar to what was said earlier with the washing machine, with the dishwasher we can also take advantage of time slots when costs are lower. Of course, the argument always applies to bi-hourly contract types, and the hours of savings are like those of the washing machine. So, in the third band remember that there is the greatest savings, while the first band is the most expensive.
Finally, let’s look at some smart tips that can help you on a daily basis with your dishwasher. Clean the dishes thoroughly before putting them in the dishwasher: you need to remove all the crumbs and some slightly more stubborn encrustations. In this way we will facilitate the work of the appliance, which will not have to use twice as much electricity to complete a wash. Avoid prewashing: this is not only because of the electricity, but also because of the water that is wasted. Rather fill a sink tub with hot water and soak the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher basket. No drying: after washing, open the door, let the water evaporate and dry the dishes by hand so you don’t keep the dishwasher running any longer.
Let us now turn to the appliance that consumes the most in the home since you necessarily have to keep it on h24. In this way we might think that it is impossible to save money on the refrigerator, but no! There are tricks we can take every day to keep the refrigerator from being under stress and save money.
Away from heat sources
If you have the refrigerator near heat sources such as an oven, stove, microwave, and whatever else, well, you are wasting a lot of electricity! When it is near heat, the refrigerator has to keep its internal temperature constant and will therefore use more effort. The location of this appliance is most important! It would also be ideal to keep it 4 inches away from the wall and choose a stand-alone refrigerator rather than a built-in one.
The door must stay closed. Here’s one of the things we’ve been scolded most for in life: the fridge door always open! That habit of wandering around the house without a goal and opening furniture and refrigerator doors brings a consequence that you never until now considered. If you think that in a family of 5 people you open the refrigerator door at least 30 times a day, you realize all the energy this poor appliance has to expend to keep the temperature cold. So, avoid similar habits and if you have to check food for groceries or meals, open it only once and check everything at once.
Cleanliness and tidiness
The rule of cleanliness also applies with the refrigerator, but also and especially order! Having all the shelves tidy directs us better when we are looking for something and we do not spend unnecessary seconds with the refrigerator open looking for what is needed. It is also not recommended to stick food on the walls and pile it up between them because this prevents the cold air from circulating properly. For cleaning, you can proceed once a month with water and 1 tablespoon of organic soap, which is perfect for degreasing and scenting the entire refrigerator.
Temperatures and sizes
We conclude the tips for saving money on the refrigerator with temperature and size. Regarding the first of these, remember that it is not necessary to set excessive temperatures that send the appliance under stress. In the case of the refrigerator it will suffice to set 39 to 42 °F, for the freezer adjust to 5 or maximum -0.5 °F.
Size, on the other hand, is important when purchasing the appliance. You have a refrigerator and ultra-advanced is certainly nice, but are you sure that the number of people you are in the house requires it? The larger it is, the more energy the refrigerator will consume, so if there are not many of you in the house, don’t go overboard with the size.
Let’s turn now to air conditioners, a cross and delight in all seasons because they save us from heat and cold, but they entail disproportionate costs. Saving money is possible, let’s find out how!
In the same way as the refrigerator, the location of the air conditioner is also very important, and I’ll tell you why right now. Putting it in an excessively hot room or an excessively cold one only brings a waste of energy as the appliance will take twice as long to complete its work. Also, if you put it behind pillars, low walls, high shelves and so on, the air has too many obstacles to circulate, and you will keep it on three times as long. So, locate a place where the air can run its course and there is a fairly neutral temperature.
Never underestimate the degrees of the air conditioner! A change of just one degree can bring additional costs to your bill of 8% more, think how much waste you are making each year. Keep in mind that the temperature difference of indoor to outdoor must be about 46°F, so in summer it will be fine to set 68 to 70 °F degrees. Vertiginously lowering the temperature will put an effort on the air conditioner that will weigh heavily on the utility bill afterwards.
Only in necessary places
One of the bad habits adopted with air conditioners is turning them on completely unnecessarily. They should be turned on only in the necessary places in the house, that is, those where you are, so you can save a good chunk of energy at the end of the month. In addition, you can set a time to turn them on (such as before you get home so that you have the impact already when you return) and especially to turn them off for the night hours.
If you are meticulous money-savers, you will know that buying light bulbs should never be casual! In fact, there are things to know in order to buy the right ones and especially ones that bring a lower cost on the bill at the end of the month. Over the years technology has moved on and there has been the introduction of LED bulbs, which are great friends of savings. It is always preferable to choose this type of bulb where possible and leave the use of other types such as neon, halogen and fluorescent only when necessary.
Electronic appliances are another very underestimated thing in the home that instead require our full attention. Especially chargers should be used as properly as possible because they result in a disproportionate waste of electricity.
Modern phones have fast charging and this brings economic and timing advantages. However, one does not always let the device charge in peace, but continuously unplugs it. Ideally, you should let the charge reach its maximum and afterwards remove the wire from both the device and the plug.
N.B. The converse also applies to PCs, tablets and whatnot. Remember that this also benefits the health of the devices, which will not fail in record time if they are allowed to charge in peace.
Take advantage of natural light
Concluding this detailed guide to saving electricity is an old Grandma’s advice: take advantage of natural light. Although there are seasons and times of the day that require artificial light, it is good to know how to make use of the sun by opening windows, curtains, and balconies so that light enters the house and use this to illuminate everything. It is also very important not to leave light bulbs on in empty rooms and for prolonged times.