How to Save Money Around the Home
How to Save Money on Running Your Home
As the cost of living keeps rising, it seems that everyone is trying to find ways to lower the costs of running a home. Utility prices seem to be the big drivers of rising costs, with electricity and water prices really hitting the back pocket.
Here are some handy hints on how to save money around the home.
Adjust your air-conditioning
Air-conditioning is a sure-fire way to burn money, particularly if you like to keep things very cold or extremely warm.
Heating usually takes less energy than cooling, but the real energy drain is when you start turning the temperature gauge anywhere below 24-degrees.
Experts advise that 24-degrees is cool enough to be able to feel the benefits of air-conditioning, without breaking the bank. If you are cold, consider putting on a jumper rather than cranking up the heat gauge.
You might also consider setting the air conditioner/heater to 'auto' mode, so it cuts out when it hits the correct temperature. Be sure to close doors and windows and draw curtains on sunny days to confine the area where the air-conditioning is in use.
Changing your light bulbs can really reduce your electricity bills if you swap to an energy efficient bulb.
LED lights are among the most cost-effective innovation of this decade.
LED lights can work both via electricity and solar energy and come in a variety of shapes, designs, sizes and colours. And they look good too.
Water is a precious resource. If you could collect as much water as you need for a week in a single day's rainfall, wouldn't you do it?
Use water tanks to water the garden or fill the pool, or even doing the washing but not for drinking.
Turning off appliances
The best opportunity to save money is identifying the goods that use the most electricity and finding a way to restrict their energy consumption when they are not in use.
For less than $30 you can by a testing device that shows how much energy each appliance consumes. Try to turn them off at the wall, or buy a power board which turns everything off with one switch.
Most appliances have an energy-rating star system which shows how efficient they are. Paying a little extra for a washing machine, dishwasher, clothes dryer or television with a good efficiency rating can save a lot of money over the life of the item.
Television can be a big consumer of energy. When choosing a television, remember that plasma screens can use double the electricity of LCD screens – and the bigger the TV screen the more power it uses.
Finally remember that desktop computers use more power than laptop computers. Try to switch off mobile phone chargers at the wall or they will continue to draw power.
Solar panels are all the rage nowadays, with government rebates sparking competition among alternative energy companies to give out the best deals.
At first glance they look to be a simple solution for people to save money. However the high upfront cost means it takes many years before the expense of solar panels is recouped through savings on a power bill.
Do your sums to see if they are right for you.
By Marie Mortimer. You can follow Marie on Google+
Image credit: N i c o l a