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How many devices are connected to your Wi-Fi at home? Can you count them on one hand? Two hands? Maybe you need all of your fingers and toes – and even that’s still not enough.
We are living in a connected, plugged-in world, and while this is convenient in most ways, it isn’t great for our electricity bills. All those devices connected to your Wi-Fi use electricity either regularly or constantly, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From lightbulbs to ovens, microwaves to fridges, fans to heated swimming pools, there are hundreds of appliances in your home that are using electricity every day.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to curb your electricity usage without moving into a tent. These range from power-saving tricks to consulting your electrician.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at energy use in the home and what you can do to take control of your bills!
If you want to know how much electricity your everyday appliances are using, just look at the packaging. In most cases, energy-consuming appliances will tell you what their wattage is, and this tells you how much electricity they are consuming every hour.
Wattage is generally measured in either watts or kilowatts (1000 watts = 1kW).
Here is the average usage of some common appliances and some of the heavy hitters in your home.
The numbers listed above are simply averages and they will vary depending on several factors. This includes the age of the appliances, when they are used, and how often they are used. The size of your household is also an important factor to consider because the more appliances you have, the more energy you will use.
Personal items like computers, phones, and gaming systems can really add up if everyone in the household is using them. More people in the house also means more lights on more often. As well as lighting and appliances, your cooling and heating costs will play a big factor in your electricity use.
Similarly, luxury items like electric heated swimming pools and spas will also come with a luxury price tag when it comes to your energy usage.
There is a range of energy-saving strategies that you can employ at home. It also pays to consult a professional electrician to ensure that you’re making the most of your appliances. Some ways you can take back the power in your home include:
If you use electric hot water, you can save some money on your bill by using less of it. In the summer months, consider switching to a cold shower. If cold showers aren’t for you, consider using cold water for washing clothes. Just like showers, cold wash cycles are more energy-efficient than hot wash cycles.
Heating and cooling can send up your electricity bills, but great insulation can help. By reinsulating your ceiling, floor, and walls, you can prevent cold air from getting in during winter and hot air from invading in summer. This helps your HVAC system work much more effectively. While you’re insulating, take the time to seal drafts in your windows and throughout your home.
Other ways to improve insulation include hanging window coverings and putting down rugs. You can also insulate your body by dressing in a way that makes the most of the weather. If it’s cold, rug up, and if it’s hot, dress lightly.
Don’t just turn your appliances off using the system. Take the extra effort to switch them off at the wall. Never leave lights on when you’re not in the room, and when you only need a little bit of light consider just using a lamp.
Lots of smart appliances like computers have automatic sleep modes, so take advantage of these just in case you ever forget.
Also, consider using your appliances less often whenever possible. For example, only run the dishwasher when it’s packed to the brim and consider air-drying your clothes rather than using a clothes dryer.
If you have older lightbulbs and globes, consider replacing these with energy-efficient LEDs or other eco-friendly alternatives. Also, consider different ways you can increase natural light in your home. Bigger windows are often the key here, and this can help you rely less on artificial light.
If you’re serious about curbing your electrical bills, enlisting the services of a professional electrician can really help. Regular electrical maintenance and inspections can identify when the wiring in your house needs replacing. Worn or faulty wiring can be dangerous, but it also makes your appliances and your wiring work much harder.
As well as maintenance and inspections, an electrician can recommend when to replace old appliances or lightbulbs, which can make a big difference in the long term.
Now that you know a little more about power usage in the home, you can put the five steps above into action. By rethinking how and when you use your appliances and swapping out some of your older, more energy-hungry equipment, you will make serious reductions on your power bills.
And if you’re looking for residential electrical services to further improve your energy efficiency, contact an experienced, professional electrician today.