When it comes to your electricity bill, the little things you do make bigger differences. Condo dwellers are lucky to have a space that is more manageable in terms of energy consumption but standards of living become more demanding too — air conditioners are a must, exhausts are a necessity, and lights are usually always switched on. This record level consumption has made energy efficient home designs an essential innovation in project development.
However, it does not and should not stop there. Aside from green condo living, there are simple steps you could do to bring down your electricity bill especially during the summer. Electricity rates do not necessarily go up when days are warmer, but consumption surely does — the air conditioner works double time, ceiling fans work nonstop too, and because school is out, kids spend more time in front of the television or the computer.
Everyone’s guilty of perennial bad habits when it comes to power consumption. Do you leave appliances plugged, is your TV on sleep mode, are lights on the whole day, and has it been ages since you last cleaned the air conditioner? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are among those that prompted global energy consumption to reach record levels.
Take time to go through these 10 easy and quirky summer energy saving tips.
Unplug them all
Appliances accounts for about 9-percent of the average energy bill. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) further states that devices on standby mode or those left plugged constitute 10% of household energy use. They constitute what is known as the “phantom load.” This is the “leaking electricity” or wasted energy.
All for one
Use a power strip or power board to manage electrical devices better. With just one switch to turn off, everything stops consuming energy. Another upside is it keeps your home organized without having too many cables plugged on wall sockets.
Remember that unclean appliances consume more energy because they are less efficient. Well-maintained appliances do not only use less energy, they also last longer and save you more money in the long run.
Perk it up
Make your place, or at least your room, look more delightful by adding color. Regular condo sizes and structures make it easier and more manageable to perk things up. Using vibrant paint color, adding greens and plants, using light colored pieces of furniture are only a few of summer condo design ideas you can do. They don’t directly affect consumption but it gives you a lighter feel of your surroundings that could eventually lead to reduced energy demands.
Accent your walls with paintings or pictures of the beach, flowers, and color.
Use the sun
It’s summer and the sun is up. Why don’t you use it? This is the best time to put dryers to rest. Hang your washed clothes and air-dry them. If you live in a condo and management allows you to wash your clothes and use a corner of the balcony to dry them, take advantage of it. It will also help to compute if it would be cheaper to just bring them to laundry shops and save energy, time, and effort.
You can also air dry dishes instead of your dishwasher dryer cycle.
When your window is not in direct heat of the sun, you may open your drapes and windows to let air and light in. Energy efficient home designs recommend the installation of bigger windows for better natural ventilation.
Heat no more
Stop using the water heater at least during summer. Enjoy the cool damp of water on your skin while saving lowering your electricity bill.
There is no denying the impact of green architectural design on electricity bills. Green living may be overwhelming to some but in reality, it is fairly simple. For example, seal and insulate your home and make sure hidden cracks and gaps in walls, ceilings, and windows are not letting too much air out. Cool efficiently by cleaning your filters regularly. Using ceiling fans is a cheaper alternative but remember to turn them off when you leave the room — fans cool people not rooms. Use CFL bulbs instead of the traditional light bulbs. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CFLs use 75% less energy. Their consumption is so small that if every home replaced just one incandescent light bulb to CFL, there would be enough energy to light more than three million homes.
For condo dwellers, practicing green condo living is much easier because of the size and structure. There is a smaller space to cool and light; and it is more manageable to make sure everything is working efficiently.
Be a wise consumer and learn to read energy guide labels. Do you see those yellow labels stamped on refrigerators and ovens? They do mean something so take time to read and understand them. It shows the estimated energy consumption of the product and display operational costs. Remember: the lower the numbers, the better.
Go out more
Summer destinations are most inviting during this time of the year. Are you just going to lock yourself up in your room or condo? Go to the mall and window shop while enjoying free air con. You may also spend the night at a house of a friend you have not seen in a while. This is a perfect example of hitting two birds with one stone.
These are just few simple ways to conserve energy and save money. They may not seem like much but all things put together will yield wonderful results. Stop saying you can’t do anything about rising electricity rates. You are in control.