Saving energy is easier than you think, or what does clothes-shopping have to do with the right usage of a fridge?
From fridge to TV all the way to an outdated heat pump. There are various reasons, why the electricity bill leaves us flabbergasted make us swear each year to do better. But before you decide to live in the dark, never use any kind of heating and only turn on the TV for 5 minutes a day, there are easier ways to save energy, without having to change our life-style:
1. Stay up-to-date
The market is drowning with electrical household appliances, from little ones, like the blender in the kitchen, the hair-dryer and also the constantly running fridge. Hence, newer models try to stand out from the competition and cheaper alternatives by making their devices energy efficient. Best example – replacement of conventional lightbulbs with new energy saving ones.
In general, newer devices have a better ecological foot-print, if you compare the old devices, which you used, to the newer ones. Although, replacing your old devices with more efficient devices will result in an initial investment, the overall payoff will be visible just within a couple of years.
2. Fill it up
“What do new gadgets and clothes have in common? They are best, when they are up-to-date.” That might be far-fetched, but has actually a deeper meaning, especially for those, which say that they do not have enough clothes and therefore have to do half-full loads in their washing machines. If the lack of clothes is more the truth than less an excuse, how about you treat yourself to shopping clothes? The outcome will be that you finally have more clothes, which then result in you being able to fill-up the washing machine, in order to make most efficient use of your washing machine, respectively your tumble dryer. The investment in your clothes will definitely pay off monetarily, considering the high energy savings.
Also your fridge – instead of only ketchup and light, how about filling-up your fridge with food and drinks. Not only will you be able to enjoy the sight of a full fridge, all the items in your fridge will act as a cooling pack, reducing the need of your fridge to use additional energy for cooling. And even more energy can be saved, if you pack your fridge efficiently, i.e. meat and fish on the bottom, pickled and canned food on the top. But what if you just cannot fill your fridge, e.g. because you are hardly at home? Easy – Put a bucket or containers with water in the fridge, which will do the magic.
3. If you do not use it, switch it off
Many households are already practising the switch-off philosophy. Nevertheless, you usually still can find in TVs, stereos, computers, etc., which have not been fully turned off, but are running an energy-consuming stand-by. Understandably – “Switching off” your gadgets with your remote control from the comfortable seat is a level of comfort that we do not want to miss. Unfortunately, this comfort can turn out to be a cost-generator.
The easy obvious solution: A multi-socket with a switch, as you can already find in many households. But didn’t we say that we do not want to chance our life-style, even if this would only include the touch of a button? Easy – Use a timer. Just set the timer at the timing, at which you regularly watch your shows and all your devices will turn on automatically.
4. Upgrade for laziness
Why stop with the timer for your entertainment system? Laziness can reach further levels, especially in terms of lighting. Instead of having your outside lamp turned on all night, you can use a presence detector. But presence detectors come also handy indoors. You can use them in your pantries, basement, attics, etc., without worrying about having forgotten to switch it off the whole night or your whole vacations. Best about the use of presence detectors is that you do not have to move a finger anymore to switch on and off the light. And since the light is only switched on, once the area is actually used, you save automatically heaps of energy. Start being lazy and save energy.
5. Don’t be the only smart one - Make your whole home smart
Imagine you start your laundry, when the energy is cheap, like at night. Or the fridge, which will reduce its performance, when there are less temperature sensitive items in it. Rooms will automatically regulate its temperatures when they are used and lights energy saving lamps are turned on, when they are actually used. All you have to do is to live.
The previous points were looking at the most common used applications in your home, but why not creating a whole system, which gives you this level of comfort and saves energy at the same time? As explained, being smart can save energy and money, and it is not hard…not at all! But creating a whole system at which all the various applications can work together would be top it all, right?
The solution is as simple and old, but yet more present then ever these days: The smart home! Using open technologies, such as KNX, allow you to integrate all your appliances at home to an overall network, which will realise all these energy savings for you, without you having to worry about anything anymore.
So what do you have to do to make your home smart? Not much – Simply get in touch with the installer near you, describe him what you are looking at and get an offer. As learned, the initial investment will pay off in no time, raise your comfort and allow you to become lazy in the name of energy savings.