Conserving Electricity | Ultimate Guide Pt. 1

Conserving electricity

Conserving electricity

“Reduce energy costs, reduce energy costs!” That’s the song most parents sing to their children in the 21st century. Our energy sources are finite. It is for this reason that everyone using electricity should take appropriate measures of conserving electricity. By conserving electricity, one saves money and the electricity consumption lowers. Everyone has a role to play in conserving elements. ‘The SMART USE ‘ of electricity offers us a good opportunity to conserve energy, especially in lightning, cooking, water heating and refrigeration. This article contains easy-to-follow tips on how we all can conserve electricity in our homes and subsequently reduce electricity bills and save money.

Conserving Electricity bulb lighting near sprouting plant

Also Read: How to manage your money

How to reduce energy costs in lighting

Incandescent bulbs use more energy than Light Emitting diode(LED) and Compact Fluorescent lights ( CFL) bulbs. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb cost 5 -10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself. Light Emitting diode (LED) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting. They are 90% more efficient than other lighting options and last 10 times longer than CFLs. The frequency of changing bulbs greatly reduces, they produce more light yet they consume less power. LEDs are small, very efficient solid bulbs and LED technology is advancing rapidly with many new bulb styles available.

LED Bulbs reduce energy costs
(From left) Incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs. Many people are finding that choosing the right light bulb has a steep learning curve.

Benefits of using LED bulbs

  • Efficiency: They consume up to 90% less power than ordinary bulbs.
  • Longevity/Durability: they last up to 15 years before needing replacement.
  • Safety: They do not generate heat like other bulbs get hot and contribute to heat build-up in a room.
  • Environment friendly: LEDs are made from non-toxic materials and are recyclable.
  • Cost-effectiveness: initial cost is high compared to CFLs and incandescent bulbs but it’s recouped over time due to savings on power and frequency of purchase.
  • LED light bulbs are also ideal for use with small portable generators which some families use for backup power in emergency outages.

How to reduce energy costs

  • 1. When purchasing bulbs, invest in LED. The initial cost is high but this is offset by not requiring to change a bulb for many months hence saving money.
  • 2. Turn off the lighting when leaving a room. This habit can be encouraged more easily if every area had its own switch.
  • 3. Turn off outdoor lighting during day time.
  • 4. In home decoration, interior surfaces have an important bearing on lighting efficiency. Choose lighter colours for walls, ceilings, floors and furniture.
  • Dark colours absorb light and would require higher lamp wattage for a given level of lighting. Light-coloured surfaces should be kept clean for maximum reflection.
  • 5. In rooms or fixtures having two or more outlets, consider using a single large bulb in a socket rather than filling all outlets with bulbs of smaller wattage.
  • 6. If possible locate the floor, table and hanging lamps in the corner of the room rather than against a flat wall. Lamps in corners reflect light from two wall surfaces hence giving more usable light.
  • 7. Clean lighting fixtures regularly. Dust on bulbs, bulb shades and reflectors impairs lighting efficiency.

Ways of Conserving Electricity Using Laundry Washers

Follow detergent instructions carefully:

  • 1. Excessive detergent affects washing action and may require more energy in the form of extra rinses.
  • 2. Front-loading washing machines use less energy than top-loading models.
  • 3. Set the wash temperature selector to cold or warm.
  • 4. Not all fabric requires extremely hot water for washing.
  • 5. Sort out laundry and schedule washing so that a complete job can be done in a few cycles.
laundry washers reduce energy costs

How to reduce energy costs using Dryers

  • 1. Avoid over-drying clothes. This wastes energy and damages fabric.
  • 2. Clean each filter thoroughly after each complete drying cycle to reduce energy costs.
  • 3. Avoid running a dryer unless it is carrying its rated poundage of clothes.
  • 4. Do not overload as this causes excessive wrinkling of laundry.
  • 5. Always dry your clothes on outdoor clothing lines whenever possible.
laundry driers

How to save power during Ironing

  • 1. Begin with those fabrics that require lower temperatures and work up to those that require note heat. An iron heats faster than it cools so it is quicker to go from lower to higher temperatures than reverse. This also needs significantly less energy.
  • 2. Turn off the flat iron, five minutes before ironing all clothes and finish ironing with heat stored in the sole plate.
  • 3. Always turn off the iron when you get interruptions by the telephone or doorbell or whatever makes you pause ironing.
how to save power using a flat iron

To be continued: watch out for part two of this article)

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