(Photo by Alexander Baxevanis)
Last week I was chatting with some of the parents at school about our shortcuts to managing domestic chores while working. One mum said she uses her clothes dryer to save time, and was admonished for the wasted energy consumption!
I have a reputation for being a bit of ‘greeny’, so I was happy that the message is getting out there, but I knew I couldn’t really judge. My family currently enjoys a big environmental hole in the ground – a swimming pool! I also understand we are juggling busy lives and we all need short cuts.
As Earth Hour approaches we can do more than turn off the lights. We all know we can save energy by turning off lights and monitors – and this is important, because even though these items have relatively low energy consumption, the cumulative effect is large. Besides, why would you pay for something you are not using?
But we can do so much more than this, especially if we know what big culprits are. Reducing these a little will help you make a bigger impact.
Here are some easy ways to shortcut your household energy consumption –
Air Conditioning and Heating – 5000 watts
If you have no alternative to running the A/C and heating regularly during the day, you are a great candidate for solar panels. If you have to use it, be more efficient. The cooler you go the more energy is used, so don’t go too cold. Shut doors and windows, blinds etc., and if you are going out for more than an hour turn it off.
Clothes Dryer – 4000 watts
Instead of a dryer I use the great Perth weather. I turn down my spin cycle, and hang clothes directly onto their hangers to reduce ironing. If this is not an option for you, adding a tennis ball or dry towel into the dryer with your wet clothes will reduce the drying time.
Oven – 2400 watts
Try and avoid cooking… ok, that’s probably not an option for most of us! Instead, batch bake when possible. Try and plan so you get the majority of your oven cooking done at the same time, making use of the already heated oven. When growing up we used to get a pudding on Sunday as Mum already had the oven on for the roast – this is actually really efficient.
Kettle – 1800 watts
Less water needs less heating. Only fill your kettle with the amount of water that you need to use.
Hair Stylers – 1800 watts
Your amazing locks are at a cost to the planet! Try to cut down your styling time.
Pool Pump – 1600 watts
Put a timer on your pool pump, or make sure it is only run for short periods.
Fridge or Freezer – 150 to 400 watts
The issue with fridges and freezers is they are running all the time, and us wealthy Aussies often run two – one just to keep our drinks cool! If you cannot ditch the bar fridge perhaps turn it off in winter and when on turn it up a couple of degrees.
Please note the wattage listed above can vary depending on size and model.
Do you ever wonder which appliances in your home use the most energy?
It’s easy to work out using this formula:
- Determine how many watts of power the appliance consumes (this should be on the appliance or in the manual)
- Work out your current rate per KW hour which you can find on your electricity bill.
- Now you can figure out the hourly cost of running your appliance by using this formula:
Watts/1000 x your current rate per KW hour on your electricity bill
= hourly cost of running your appliance
For example: 1100 watts/1000 x 0.2083 cents = 23 cents per hour.