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TOP 10 TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY BILLS

Here are the top 10 tips in no particular order

1. AIR LEAKS

Some estimates suggest that a big percentage of heating and cooling energy escapes through air leaks around gaps. For example the bottom of doors, wooden floors with nothing insulated underneath, loose fitting windows, even electrical outlets, plumbing and light fixtures. Here are a few tips:

  • First try and locate the air leaks by carefully waving a lighted incense stick around doors, windows, outlets, and fixtures. You should be able to see where the smoke blows towards the air leak.
  • For bottom of doors you could drop an old fashioned draft stopper.
  • For wooden floors with no insulated underneath, you could throw a few rugs on the floor.
  • For window leaks, try and seal use a Weatherstrip where leaks occur. This can also be used near plumbing, ductwork, or wiring that penetrates through walls.
  • Electrical outlets can be sealed with foam gaskets that can be purchased cheaply at most hardware stores.
 
2. FRIDGES

Many old fridges have seals around the doors that leak cool refrigerated air which in turn makes your fridge work real hard churning through power.

Here are some tips to save energy:

  • If needed, hire an expert to have the seals replaced on your fridge.
  • Also make sure you keep the inside of the fridge around where the seals are; clean and dry. Otherwise when they start to stick, they end up peeling off the seals.
  • Modern fridges have better energy efficiency. Some fridges even have a “holiday” mode that essentially puts your fridge into to a low operating mode.
3. DISH WASHERS

Dishwashers if used correctly can be more energy efficient than hand washing. Here are some tips:

  • Use your dishwasher on the lowest temperature and the shortest cycle whenever you can.
  • Avoid pre-washing by hand as this wastes unnecessary water and heating.
  • Newer dishwashers are much more energy efficient.
  • If you have Solar Panels, turn your dishwasher on in the daytime.
4. WASHING MACHINES

Washing machines have become very energy efficient in recent years, however there are still some tips to save energy:

  • Limit washing machine use to full loads only.
  • Use cold water washes only, in most cases cold water gets the laundry done just as well. And you can also adjust the water level to suit your load size.
  • If you have Solar Panels, set your washing machine timer to start in the daytime.
 
5. CLOTHES DRYERS

Clothes Dryers can send your power bills skyrocketing. Here are some tips:

  • If you have access to an outdoor clothes line, use this instead of the dryer.
  • Like an air-conditioner, make sure you clean the lint filter as a blocked filter means you use more electricity.
  • Dripping wet clothes should be spun dry first and not placed in a dryer.
  • Try to do several loads one after the other. This makes use of the heat in the machine from the previous load.
  • If you have Solar Panels, turn your dryer to start in the daytime – but leave unattended.
6. AIR CONDITIONING

Your heating and or cooling costs might be able to be reduced considerably just by increasing your cooling temperature a little higher than what you currently have.

The same thing applies with heating – turn it down by a degree or two will have a huge impact on costs over a year. Some other tips include;

  • Clean your air conditioner regularly as dust that builds up can reduce airflow and cause the air-conditioner to work harder than it should causing increased energy costs. Generally most air-conditioners have a filter which can be removed and vacuumed clean.
  • Also if possible, keep your outdoor air conditioning unit shaded from the sun or install it on the shady side of the house – this can increase your air conditioner’s efficiency.
  • If your windows face the sun directly, you could consider shades, blinds or curtains.
7. WATER HEATERS

Water heating makes up 25 percent of home energy use. Non-efficient showerheads allow 12-15 litres of water to flow in a minute and the average bath consumes 80 litres of heated water. Here are few tips to follow:

  • Take quick showers instead of baths, if possible no longer than 5-minutes,
  •  Install low-flow showerheads,
  • Don’t leave taps running while shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Consider upgrading to a new more energy efficient water heater
8. LIGHTING

Lighting accounts for approximately 7 percent of home energy use. You can save a lot of energy by using energy saving lighting such as LED. Here are some more tips to do that:

  • The best tip is to turn off lights when not in use.
  • For lamps, you could plugin a timer to ensure it turns off automatically.
9. STANDYBY POWER LIGHTS

Many households are like Christmas trees with lights on 24/7. For example appliances like TVs, DVD players, computers, stereos, and game consoles still draw small amounts of standby power when not in use. These devices drain electricity all day, every day.

  • If possible, it’s a good idea to turn devices off at the wall when not in use.
10. ROOF INSULTION

Roof insulation can help you keep the heat or cold in when you need to. 

The statistics may vary, but some homeowners have reported as much as a 20% savings once their slate roof has been insulated.

If you can’t install insulation for whatever reason, try blinds or curtains to reduce heat build up.

SOLAR PANELS

We didn’t automatically include solar in the top 10, as, you need to be a homeowner (sorry renters).

But if you are a homeowner, solar panels can reduce your energy bills by up to 80%. And that’s from the very first day you install solar.  The best bit is you’ll get thousands of dollars in government rebates to install solar. 

So if you like the idea of getting solar installed and paid for with government rebates, then first check you can qualify with this 20 second Home SOLAR CHECKER Quiz .