Energy saving at home: useful tips to pay less on your bill

Energy saving, which includes virtuous behaviors to limit waste and improve efficiency, is linked to actions aimed at limiting energy consumption.
tips how to save energy at home

From the correct thermal insulation for your home, to the choice of LED bulbs, from the rules for requesting tax deductions to the best use of household appliances and even indications on how to dress, here is everything you need to reduce energy consumption.

Energy saving: definition

Energy saving, which includes virtuous behaviors to limit waste and improve efficiency, is linked to actions aimed at limiting energy consumption.

Energy saving has become an important objective, in particular after some factors became aware:

  • the exhaustion of resources to produce energy, in particular fossil fuels;

  • global warming resulting from gas emissions, linked to the high consumption of hydrocarbons;

  • political and security of supply problems due to inequalities between rich and poor countries.

In everyday life, a few simple actions allow everyone to help reduce their energy consumption, with consequent savings on their bills. Here are our suggestions on how to reduce your energy consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions.

How much energy do we consume?

The underlying problem is: do we really know how much energy we consume?

Without an energy monitoring device, it is really difficult to understand this. A great idea is to get one. You can also find it on the web, there are many home automation solutions capable of telling you how many kW you are consuming.

You can also do an energy audit. You need to be aware of your home’s energy consumption to be able to intervene. It’s like having a check-up at the doctor: afterwards, you are inevitably safer.

Energy saving at home can also be achieved with a small investment in modernizing heating systems and using new technologies.

The importance of proper insulation at home

To identify where there are heat losses in the house, and possibly proceed with insulation, you can do a thermography. It allows you to understand the real state of insulation and thermal dispersion of your home.

On the subject of how to insulate the house from the cold, consider that it is important to check the condition of the fixtures and walls:

  • Isolate all leaks in the house. Even if it doesn’t seem like it to you, there are thousands of places, cracks, drafts in the windows from which the heat ‘escapes’;

  • Double/triple glazed windows. Glass and doors represent the main ‘escape routes’ of the heat accumulated in the home. They are the best investment, both for protection from the cold and heat, and for external noise;

  • Efficient heating. Evaluate the most suitable solutions to lower heating costs. Unlike the centralized one, the private boiler is the best solution for keeping gas consumption under control, adapting it to your needs;

  • Smart thermostat. Install a latest generation thermostat, even in the case of central heating it will be able to manage the switching on and off of the heating system in the home, avoiding waste, particularly when you are not at home;

  • Shutters. Get into the habit of completely lowering the shutters or closing the shutters at night to increase the ‘barrier’ effect.

The lighting

To save energy at home you will need to observe some simple rules, starting with home lighting:

  • Use energy saving lamps, but even better, convert directly to LED lamps which are the future of low consumption. They consume 80% less and last 25 times longer than incandescent ones;

  • Choose bulbs based on our real needs, avoiding excessive lighting levels;

  • Don’t forget lights on around the house;

  • Avoid artificial lighting in broad daylight or with sufficient natural light.

Standby

Every time we turn off the TV with the remote control, our appliance goes into stand-by mode, that is, it is waiting for us to turn it back on. The indicator of this function is the ‘red light’ which remains lit.

This means that our device continues to consume electricity: from 4 to 12 watts/h to be exact. It may seem little, but in a year and multiplied by each appliance, it becomes 30-90 kWh of electricity consumed. It is therefore advisable to always turn off the stand-by function of these appliances.

Not only that, but when we go to buy new ones let’s make sure that they have a mechanical switch that allows them to be completely turned off without having to unplug them, which can become a problem for a dishwasher or an oven.

Computer

As a rule, it is better to turn it off during the night and when it is not in use, alternatively it is a good idea to activate the standby or wake mode. Even just turning off the screen provides some energy savings.

Consider that a PC in stand-by can consume even more than 20 Watts per hour, while on even 1 kWh. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to completely turn off the computer if you are not using it for more than half an hour.

You can opt for a laptop, which is lighter and more efficient than a desktop. In the latter case, energy savings with the same performance reach up to 66%.

Sockets

Electrical sockets also consume energy.

How many times do we leave computers and cell phones on charge for longer than they should, without knowing that they consume energy even when they are turned off.

A stand-by killer to improve energy efficiency could be right for you. Automatically cuts off the electricity supply when the devices have finished charging or are turned off.

If you don’t want to buy it, always unplug it when you’re not using the appliance. It will be easier if you use power strips, so you can turn off multiple appliances simultaneously.

By connecting all the sockets you normally use (PC, transformer, printer, router and so on…) at the end of the day you can turn off the power strip switch. Everything will be disconnected in a single gesture, even those little lights that consume electricity unnecessarily.

If you decide to equip yourself with a power strip with a lightning protection fuse in addition to the switch, among other things, you will improve your level of safety, especially when you plan to be away from your computer for a while.

Small appliances

It is essential to remember not to leave small electrical and electronic devices plugged into sockets, even if they are not turned on. There is always a small consumption.

Then use them only for the time necessary (therefore disconnect the battery chargers once used, turn off the television when not needed, avoid the simultaneous use of multiple devices).

Bigger household appliances

The categorical imperative is to avoid any form of energy waste. This will not only help us keep an eye on the bill by saving on electricity costs, but will guarantee our appliances long life and optimal performance.

Oven, washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, are the ubiquitous appliances in the home: if we have to change or purchase one of these appliances, we opt for modern models with the highest energy yield, i.e. class A++. The investment will be amply rewarded over time with decidedly lower consumption.

Correct maintenance

To improve the performance of our appliances, we remember to always consider their use based on real needs and carry out correct cleaning and maintenance. Here are the fundamental rules for lowering the energy consumption of household appliances:

  • Do not wash half loads for the washing machine and dishwasher, this will also reduce water consumption;

  • Do not place the refrigerator near heat sources;

  • Do not continually open and close the fridge or freezer door;

  • Always keep the filters of washing machines, dishwashers and air conditioners clean;

  • Whenever possible, dry your laundry in the open air or on the clothesline instead of in the dryer;

  • Do not continuously open the oven door to avoid unnecessary heat dispersion;

  • To cook food, use a pressure cooker or pans and pots with lids.

In addition to these general indications, it is good to remember that the use of electric heaters and fan heaters is not recommended: they consume a lot and give off heat that does not last long.

How to save energy at home: heating

Similarly, it is possible to adopt equally valid measures to reduce heating costs, especially in winter, when bills inevitably tend to swell.

The first thing to do, in this sense, is to reduce heat dispersion in the home as much as possible and ensure that the heating system is perfectly efficient, through adequate maintenance and periodic checks of the boiler. To this end it is appropriate:

  • Check and clean radiators for air residues using the appropriate valve;

  • Adjust the home temperature up to a maximum of 19°;

  • Lowering the internal temperature by 1° means reducing consumption by approximately 6%;

  • Do not cover the radiators with cloths or curtains which would reduce their efficiency;

  • Check the boiler once a year. In addition to being required by law, periodic boiler checks are the best way to guarantee your system full efficiency.

Read also: Energy from evaporation: a new source of clean and renewable energy is born

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