How can you reduce your power usage in the spring?
Do you fancy doing some spring cleaning? Why not follow these tips and tidy up your energy use?
It is important to consider making changes around this time of year so your house will be ready and prepared for the hot summer months ahead - here's how each area of your home can benefit from an electricity makeover.
The family room:
As the days warm up you may begin to spend less time in front of the TV and more time in the great outdoors. This is a great way to save power, but when you are in the family room it is still essential to consider how you can be more sustainable.
In order to reduce your electricity bills, it is a good idea to think about investing in a power board. This can supply more of your appliances with power at the same time, and when you are not in the room you only need one switch to turn them all off!
Similarly, using lamps rather than main lights could also help you to see savings, particularly if you use energy-saving globes rather than compact fluorescent ones.
Why not crack out the barbecue where you can? This is a more efficient way to cook those spring meals than in your oven or on the stovetop. The microwave is also a better choice as it uses less electricity - although if you are thawing food it is best to pop it in the fridge rather than use the microwave.
If you are cooking on the stovetop, however, you can save power by keeping lids on your pots. This will reduce the energy used and also cut down the time it takes to get your meals from the kitchen to the table.
Your fridge and freezer are other areas that impact your energy payments. Set your fridge temperature between 4 and 5 degrees and your freezer between -15 and -18 degrees to prevent using more power than you really need.
To ensure your fridge works as well as it can, you should clean and defrost it regularly so it is only cooling the food you need.
While washing your clothes is an essential chore that must be done, you should ensure you perform this task in the most efficient way. This means using cold rather than hot water where possible - your clothes will be just as clean! If you have an eco-setting, don't hesitate to use it as this can save more energy.
Another tip is to dry your clothes on a rack or line rather than using the dryer, as this can add up to significant savings.
Taking shorter, cooler showers is certainly a great way to knock back your power prices. However, you may be able to reduce your power bills by simply adjusting the temperature on your hot water cylinder. In fact, this should be set to 60 degrees, according to Your Energy Savings. Any lower and you may be letting harmful bacteria thrive, while if this amount is higher you will be wasting power.
You could also consider switching to solar hot water systems, as these rely on the sun - rather than your electricity supplier - to heat your water.
At the start of spring you may still get the odd cooler day. During this time it is best to minimise your use of portable electric heaters as these use more power and can add hundreds to your heating bills.
Origin Energy recommends having an oil-filled heater in the bedroom as it have a lower surface temperature and enclosed elements. However, adding an extra blanket or clothing layer can help you to feel more comfortable without impacting your bills.
As summertime's hot days (and warmer nights) draw nearer, you may focus instead on keeping your home cool. Leaving a window open may be a more cost-effective solution than turning your air conditioning on full blast.
The spring may also be a good time to consider installing insulation to trap heat in during the winter and prevent chilled air from escaping in the spring and summer when the mercury begins to rise again.
Fans are also a great choice if you are renovating. When it is warm they can be used to push chilled air down, while in winter they can help you circulate heated air. This makes them more efficient at regulating your home's temperature than your air conditioner, heater or any other form of temperature control.
In the summer your energy use might soar as you try to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This means the springtime is the perfect opportunity to consider an electricity comparison to see if another supplier could offer you a more attractive deal and a chance to lower the amount you pay for your electricity bills.
Posted by Liam Tunney.