So you just moved into your dream house you spent so much money on renting or buying. You spend some more money on furnishing it and decorating it in a manner befitting your dream home. That’s the end of your financial woes, right? Well… not quite. You still have bills to pay, some of which you might find outrageous. Let us supply a few suggestions on how to reduce the utility costs for power in your household, so you can spend the extra money on more fun things.
1. Refrigerators and Freezers
a. Ever found yourself staring at the contents of your fridge or freezer trying to make up your mind what you want to get from it? Keeping the fridge open for too long causes the fridge to work harder to re-cool the now warmer air you just filled it with.
b. Do NOT place your fridge too close to the wall. Always leave some space between the back of the fridge or freezer and the wall. Proximity of the back of the fridge (where the fan can be found) to wall would cause heat emanating from the fridge to return to the fridge after hitting the wall resulting in the fan requiring, even more, power than usual in order to get rid of this new heat in addition to what it was getting rid of previously.
c. Energy efficient fridges consume 350 – 450 kWh compared to 1200 kWh in a year for the non-energy efficient fridges. To find out how much this is in monetary terms, multiply this by the current tariff rate to see how this translates in Ghana cedis.
2. Air Conditioners and Fans
a. Air-conditioned rooms should be sealed as much as possible and not have open windows or constantly open doors. Having windows and doors open makes the air-conditioner draw more power to try to cool the extra spaces the open doors and windows create. Air-conditioned rooms should have heavy or thick curtains, which can keep the room relatively dark and help maintain the room temperature.
b. Keep windows and louvres open when using a ceiling fan or standing fan. That way, the fan can more efficiently draw in cool air from outside and push out warm air. That’s more efficient.
a. For optimum efficiency, your lights should be switched on when it’s dark and switched off immediately the sun starts rising. Ideally, 6pm to 6am in homes.
b. Use energy efficient bulbs. Buy and use the more energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) over incandescent onion bulbs. This will save you a significant amount of money in electricity bills.
Ironing consumes a whole lot of power. Especially during the period when the iron is heating up. For this reason, you should iron in bulk and not in bits. When it’s fully warm, the iron’s consumption is stabilised. Ironing in bits, however, requires cooling and re-heating of the iron every time it’s used. This takes up greater energy every time it reheats.
5. Other Possible Areas Consumption Can Be Reduced
a. Phone & Device Chargers:
When your phone or other device’s charger is left plugged in but disconnected from your phone or device, it consumes 0.001kWh and above of energy. The excess energy causes it to keep warming up as it draws the full voltage from the socket and converts it to the amount the device it charges can use (even though the device is not connected). Apart from the energy wasted, it could also get hot enough to start a fire in your home.
When a television is on standby, it is still consuming power. Sometimes even more than when it was actually in use. It is most advisable to switch it off absolutely when you are no longer interested in watching.
c. Bathroom & Kitchen Water Heaters:
Switch off household water heaters when not in use or when not required. Only switch them on about five to ten minutes before you need them. Switch them off immediately after use.
Always check the energy efficiency guide from the Energy Commission on the yellow sticker that comes with the various devices and appliances. This gives you a fair idea of how much power each device or appliance will consume.
The more the stars in the energy guide for an appliance, the more efficient it is. In other words, the more the stars, the less the energy consumed.
Hope this has been helpful. Are there other ways in which you conserve energy in your home? Don’t be shy. Please share with us and the rest of the world in the comments below.