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admin 31.03.2015

If you’re taking a well-deserved break from the everyday home-work-sleep routine that will last longer than a couple of days, it’s entirely possible that a good chunk of your home’s electricity will end up going to waste… and you’ll still have to pay for it!
While it is true that the little light itself isn’t a massive power drain, it also indicates that your appliance is on Standby – as in, fully powered up and ready for use at a moment’s notice. But for when you KNOW there is ZERO chance that you’ll be using your appliances (say, when you’ll be zooming around in the back of a tuk tuk), it’s a safe and thrifty idea to leave these switched off and unplugged. While many of us will attempt to eat up as much of the food in our fridge as we can before setting out on our next great adventure, it’s entirely possible that there may be a few items in long-term storage that you’d rather save for later than scoff immediately.
This can be a problem, as fridges are designed with the assumption that they’re going to see a fair bit of use each day.
So even if if you’re not at home and the fridge door is staying closed, the fridge will still keep on working hard and eating up the extra power it needs to stay extra cold for precisely no reason.
A fridge with a digital inverter compressor can help to save energy around the home, whether you’re home or away, simply by speeding up or slowing down based on how your fridge is being used.
Also, before you go away, check your fridge’s manual (if you’ve lost yours, you can find PDF manuals on Appliances Online) to find out whether your fridge features a Holiday Mode.
This special operating mode takes into account the fact that you won’t be using your fridge very much, and turns the compressor down to the minimum speed. If your house is going to be empty while you’re away, you don’t really need to keep its temperature under control. But for homes without pets or housesitters, if you’ve set the timer on your air conditioner or heater to automatically run at certain times of day (so you can come home from work to a home that’s already perfectly comfortable without waiting), remember to switch these off for the duration of your holiday.
Another item around the house that you won’t be using while you’re away is the water heater.
Rather than paying money to keep a supply of hot water ready to go when you’re definitely not going to use it, you should be able to safely switch your electric water heater off before you leave. It’s an old trick to keep a light on at home when you go away to bamboozle would-be burglars into thinking that someone’s still at home when the house is empty.
One viable alternative is to invest in in a timer that will switch your lights on and off at predetermined intervals. Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances.
When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog.
Data from the University of Scranton notes that 45% of us make resolutions — but only 8% of those resolution makers actually achieve their goals.
One reason for such a high failure rate is that we tend to be overly ambitious in our choices.
At least one of the keys to success, then, seem to be taking baby steps that can add up to one lofty success story.
Plug home electronics into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently. Install a timer for your water heater that will turn it off when you are not at home or at night. Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver so it uses less electricity during periods of inactivity.
Keep the oven door closed while cooking — the temperature can drop by as many as 25 degrees each time you open the oven door. Wash clothes with cold water; today’s laundry detergents work just as well in cold water, and you’ll potentially save $63 annually. Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. It may not be possible to turn a computer on-and-off when being used throughout the day, but if you and your colleagues get into the habit of turning off computers when leaving the office this can lead to huge savings. Peripherals like printers and scanners should also be turned off when not in use. Unplug chargers when not in use. If a charger feels warm when it is plugged in without being attached to a device it is still converting energy. Cutting the amount of waste your business has to handle is the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly method of dealing with waste. Seemingly trivial changes can produce significant savings, such as printing and photocopying double-sided, refilling printer cartridges, switching off lights and electrical equipment, and using rechargeable batteries. Why lose up to 35% of the heat from your office through the walls and up to another 25% through the roof when you could install cavity wall and loft insulation? Shutting the curtains, especially lined ones, will stop heat escaping through your windows. Double-glazing cuts heat loss through windows by 50%, resulting in a significant reduction to your heating bill each year.
Newer houses are now well insulated; houses 10 years or older are likely to have minimal insulation.
If designing a new house with ceiling or floor vents, you have the opportunity to really benefit. Equally as important when building your new home is insulating it well to trap the heat in.
The final step we can all do to greatly reduce our heat being lost is easy and possible in every home.
Currently we are burning through our natural resources so quickly that we are actually running out.


Here are a few goal setting suggestions that should help you learn how to save energy at home.
If you truly want to save energy at home, then you could install a solar power system to ward off your dependence on the local power grid.
The more consumers find ways of how to save energy at home by, for example, switching off non-essential appliances, the fewer power outages there will be. I know these tips are hardly ground-breaking, but I do think they’re worth revisiting as we enter  the colder months. Insulating your home properly is perhaps the single most important step you can take to reduce your energy consumption this winter. Insulating your attic effectively can save up to 20% of your annual home heating costs according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Fit a lagging jacket to your hot water cylinder if you don’t have one — it will keep your water hotter for longer, and will typically pay for itself within 2-3 months. Fit a factory insulated cylinder if you’re replacing your existing one — the insulation is more effective and durable than a lagging jacket, and can’t be knocked out of place.
External wall insulation can often be improved — the most popular options are insulated dry lining on interior walls, blown mineral, cellulose fibre or polystyrene beads into the wall cavity, or rigid external insulation. Lighting is one area where a small alteration in behaviour can have a big impact on energy consumption — particularly if we look at the bigger picture across the country.
Another way to improve the electricity consumption of our lights is to replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy efficient CFL equivalents.
Let’s start with one of the main energy hogs of the average Irish kitchen: the electric kettle. Fit thermostatic valves to radiators and heat each room according to its usage — remember that bedrooms don’t need to be anywhere near as warm as the living areas of the house. Those are just a few, easy to implement tips you can use this winter to help you save energy at home.
Here are some tips that can help you to save your energy bills at home by doing slight modification like insulation etc.
Being able to slump down in your chair and switch on the TV with a single touch of the remote control is a much more pleasant experience than having to plug it in and switch it on first. For example, the University of Queensland’s Property and Facilities Division saved almost $35,000 by switching off all unnecessary electronics over the low-occupancy three-week holiday period. Because of this, the fridge is one of the few appliances that you’ll probably have to leave plugged in and switched on while you’re away. Because cold air will escape every time you open the door, fridge motors are made to over-cool the air to compensate, which takes a fair bit of energy.
Plus, they tend to run more quietly and result in less wear and tear than some other fridges.
When combined with the excellent insulation of a closed and completely sealed fridge, the compressor will maintain a consistent temperature for keeping your food fresh, all while using the minimum amount of energy. Though if you’re leaving pets at home, whether on their own or with a pet sitter, it’s worth making sure they don’t freeze or overheat (both the pets and the pet sitter). This hardworking appliance can sometime be forgotten as part of our holiday planning, as it’s often positioned a bit out of the way, and out of sight means out of mind. This will not only help keep your home from using up too much energy on lighting when nobody’s home, but a light that occasionally switches off may appear a bit less suspicious than one that stays on constantly, day and night. Plenty of these same people also break any resolution they make before the last bit of confetti is vacuumed off the living room floor. We decided to launch it early in the year because people often think about making changes in the new year.
Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg says you need to identify the cue that prompts the behavior and then create a reward to make a permanent change.
Turning your thermostat back 10°-15° for 8 hours can save 5%-15% a year on your heating bill. Quickly raising your heat pump’s temperature activates the heat strip, which uses more energy. This could reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save about 4%–9% in water heating costs. This reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes, allowing you to also lower your water temperature setting, for additional savings.
ENERGY STAR ® estimates that using these features can reduce your electric bill by up to $30 annually.
But if you prefer a dryer, click on the blog to find out which is more efficient—the gas or electric dryer. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger. Being energy efficient makes a huge difference and boosts your businesses’ green credentials.
You could cut your lighting costs by as much as 15%, just by making sure you turn lights off in rooms and corridors that aren’t being used. Energy efficient lightbulbs may be more expensive initially, but they will save in the long run. It is far more efficient to use the power down settings available, or to encourage staff to switch off their computer monitors when away from their desks. Either of which you find yourself in, the following will save you money on your heating bills. Yet if you have one unit heating your whole house, you will be heating bedrooms that are unused during the day, and if you heat bedrooms at night, you will be also heating empty living spaces.


Two separate smaller heating systems, one that heats bedrooms, and another that heats the living spaces, can be individually controlled.
It is common to have an upstairs and separate downstairs heating unit, if not and the outlets are also in the ceiling, there is nothing you can do. Saving energy is critical these days, especially as natural resources used in the production of energy become depleted.
Yes, there have been conventions dedicated to saving our resources, as well as the United Nations Commission on Sustainable development, but the UN can lecture as much as it wants. This could include your computer monitor when it is not in use, your television, heaters, air conditioners, unplug cell phone chargers and anything that is not being used.
By doing even one of these energy saving methods you can make a start and start building new habits. Heating water to boiling point takes a lot of energy, and the Irish are very fond of their cuppa… which makes the humble kettle a prime suspect in the race against energy waste.
Boiling a full kettle for one or two mugs of tea is literally throwing money and energy away.
There’s no point heating the bedrooms when everybody is in the living room watching The X Factor. This usually won’t affect your comfort level, but it can have a big impact on your household energy consumption. You’ll find more information on saving energy, and grants available to help Irish households with the cost of implementing energy-saving work. Please download the latest version of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Windows Internet Explorer browser. If you run your dishes in the evening, you can wake up to dry dishes without a single kilowatt being used.
Reducing your shower time by 4 minutes per day may save 3650 gallons annually if you shower once a day. Use the long nozzle on your vacuum periodically to clean out particles that get beyond the filter. Often in a business environment simple heat saving tips can be employed that will save money. The first step is to create two zones (spoken about in last week’s blog), in which you only heat what’s in use, with the rest closed off to heat later when needed.
Closing these and the doors of those rooms not in use, stops heating to those unused spaces.
With separate units for upstairs and down, the issue is when the downstairs unit alone is on, and how to prevent the heat being lost to upstairs. These gaps around their edges allows on average all the air in your house to be lost to outside every 3-4 hours!
How many times have you popped out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea or coffee, and returned to the living room, leaving the light on behind you.
Another way you can save, if you have a wood burner or solid fuel stove, is to use a stove-top kettle on the hotplate to boil your water for free.
Under the little-changes-can-add-up theory, incorporate one tip a day, or maybe one a week if that works better for you.
With energy prices continuing to rise, and more critically global temperatures, we must all do our part to reduce our impact on the environment.
Alternatively if you plan on fitting just one heating unit, a motorised shutter within the ductwork, can be closed at the push of a button stopping supply to the bedrooms with the same effect. But if you are concerned for the environment at all, then a high power bill is probably not the only thing you are worrying about when you think of saving energy.
Even though these might be things you use on a regular basis, you should still do your best to make sure they are turned off when not needed. The more tips you tackle, the greater your chances of saving energy in your home — and potentially saving less in your monthly energy bill as a result. If you don’t have closing vents, pull the vents covers out and just below the outlet within the duct there is often a flap hinged in the middle, that can be rotated shut. By simply closing all the doors to the rooms upstairs, you reduce the upstairs volume to just the corridor that the stairwell will supply, and with that the amount of hot air that will rise is drastically reduced.
When you set these out for the trash pickup, they will be separated accordingly, and send to a recycling facility. Once that corridor is heated no more air will rise, leaving the downstairs to gain the heat it needs. Lastly a massive amount of heat is lost through glass, this is the weakest link in all homes.
This will not save energy in your house, but it will go a long way towards saving energy for the world by reducing the amount of energy used in having to manufacture those items from scratch.
If building a new house be sure to have two units, or a motorised shut off to turn off upstairs or downstairs individually.
Even better still a sliding door to close off the stairwell, perhaps at the bottom, means no heat loss to upstairs whatsoever.



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