Saving money is often a priority, but what if you could help conserve the environment by saving energy at the same time?
Small changes – such as doing two or three things differently in your home each day – can have a big impact. We list them below.
1. Draw the curtains or blinds during the day to screen off heat. If it is too dark, install sheer curtains, which will let light but not heat and glare in.
2. Once you’ve cooled down your room with air conditioning, turn it off and use the fan to circulate the cool air. Close doors of rooms you’re not using, to keep cool air within the spaces you’re using.
3. If possible, air-dry clothes. If you must use the dryer, set the duration of the timer to 15 minutes less.
4. Use timers for your shower to reduce showering time and avoid wasting water.
5. Look out for high energy saving ratings (the more ticks on the Energy Label, the better) when you buy appliances — especially larger ones like fridges, washing machines and dryers.
6. Buy energy-saving light bulbs. They cost a little more, but last much longer, making them worth it in the long run.
7. Use lamps for lighting only where you need it, instead of the main overhead lights, in the evening.
8. Turn your air conditioning temperature up by one or two degrees — even this small shift makes a big difference in energy consumption. If your air conditioning unit has one, always select the ‘eco save’ or ‘econo’ option.
9. When your appliances (such as toasters, blenders and DVD players) are not in use, turn off the power points. Even having a ‘standby’ light on or the LCD display lit up consumes a significant amount of energy.
10. Service your air conditioning units regularly, as underperforming units are inefficient and consume more energy.