Using less, saving more
Saving on utilities serves both your budget and the planet. From a cautious use of water to an energy saving plan all around the house, these tips will help you make the most of your pounds, besides making sense environmentally-wise.
Utility #1: water
- Install a low-flow tap aerator, both on your kitchen and bathroom taps. It is a very small piece that you can easily screw on at the end of your current taps. Also replace your showerhead with a low-flow one. This inexpensive system mixes air into the water stream. You won’t even notice the difference, but your water meter will. Aerators can reduce your home water consumption by as much as 50%, and reduce the water heating energy cost in the same proportion (1).
- Fix the taps. Even small, slow drips can waste up to 30 gallons of water a day, sending money down the drain at the same time. Get any leaky fixtures repaired and make sure to keep your taps, toilets, appliances, showers, and tubs in good working order all-year-round.
- Collect cold water. Does it take a minute or two for water to get warm enough for dishwashing or hand cleaning? Don’t let the cold water just drain away. Have a pot or a bottle near at hand ready to be filled, and save this water for future use, like cooking or watering plants.
- While preparing meals, try to keep utensils and cookware to a minimum. With fewer dishes to wash, you’ll save water, energy, and time. For example, wipe clean and reuse the knife to chop different veggies. Serve food in the pots you cooked them in rather than using separate serving bowls. Collect items to be rinsed in the sink in order to turn on the tap less often.
- If your kitchen is equipped with one, make the best of your double sink when hand washing dishes. Fill one side with warm water for soaking and cleansing. Fill the other basin with cold water for rinsing.
Utility #2: electricity and gas
- Install energy-saving light bulbs. New light bulb types have appeared on the market. Whether they are lower wattage or energy efficient fluorescent bulbs, they add up to big energy and cost savings.
- Regularly defrost your freezer. Ice tends to accumulate on the tubes and walls inside your freezer, reducing considerably the freezing capacity. Your fridge then needs to consume much more electricity to maintain a low temperature. Keep it power efficient by defrosting in 3 easy steps: eat away frozen food (before holidays may be a nice opportunity), place a low basin under the front and an absorbing floor cloth around, leave the door open and turn off the power supply. After twelve hours, your freezer should be free of unwanted ice and ready to work as good as new.
- Fine-tune your furnace before winter. Make a yearly tune-up appointment with a professional before the big chill sets in, to make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape. Replace or clean furnace filters once a month to keep it running efficiently.
- Adjust water heating to seasonal needs. In summertime, you may lower your water heater temperature gauge by a few degrees without feeling any inconvenience.
- Cold-wash clothes. It is now possible thanks to a new generation of detergents specifically formulated for cold water cleaning. Fairy Non Bio® Coldwater is one of them; it will help you get clean clothes at a lower energy bill.
- Electric-less clean. Vacuums suck up dirt on your floors, but they suck up a lot of energy too. Bring yourself to sweep floors instead – you’ll be rewarded with a healthy physical exercise too.
- Trap heat by improving your home insolation. Chase heat loss sources: single glazing windows, a space below the entrance door, a fireplace without a hatch... If required, ask for an isolation expert to visit your home and evaluate your needs. You may then consider some improvements, or if you’re a tenant, mention them to your landlord.
(1) source of data : http://eartheasy.com/live_lowflow_aerators.htm