You’ve probably heard people talk about energy efficiency more than a hundred times. Ever wonder why? Your home uses an array of energy such as water, gas, and electricity to keep everything running and depending on how much of that energy you use, you could be facing an extremely expensive monthly bill. Unfortunately, using energy is not only harmful to our wallets but also for the environment. So if we want future generations to live a comfortable life here on Earth, we need to be more efficient with how we utilize our energy. I know that sounds like a lot of responsibility but here’s the good news: all you need to do is change a few habits! Here are some easy things you could try to be more energy efficient around your home.
Malaysia is one hot country. You take one step outside and you’re already dripping with sweat; so it makes sense to blast the air conditioning when you return home, right? Wrong! Setting the air conditioning to a higher-than-average temperature and having it run constantly is surprisingly cheaper than switching it on and off. Better yet, switch from “on” to “auto” to let the air conditioner do all the work in adjusting its settings. Just make sure to close all exterior doors and windows. Having them open forces the air conditioner to work harder to cool the room, which in turns uses more energy.
If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on and use it instead of the air conditioner when the room is already chilly enough. Ceiling fans use less energy than a light bulb and help to cool people down.
Malaysia may be hot but one good thing about the weather is that we always have sunlight. Depending on the direction that your room faces, the room may get a lot of natural light. Use it to your advantage! Turn off the ceiling lights and let nature light up your room. Don’t want the intense heat waves to burn up your room? Just use a light-colored curtain that allows enough natural light to enter while also blocking out direct sunlight. Want to keep your ocean view? Tinting is another good option for blocking out heat. It also protects your furniture from harmful UV light, so that white carpet won’t turn brown anytime soon.
Which one uses more energy, a near-empty refrigerator or a refrigerator stocked with groceries? The answer: the fully-stocked refrigerator. A full refrigerator takes more work to keep coo, thus uses more energy. Set the refrigerator to 2 to 3 degrees Celsius and the freezer to -18 degrees Celsius for optimum efficiency. Just make sure to completely close the refrigerator door so as not to let hot air in.
You know that fully-charged iPhone that you still have plugged into the charger? Yeah, that’s using the same amount of energy as when it was still charging. Just because your iPhone is fully charged doesn’t mean the charger stops consuming electricity. The same goes for electronic devices that are on stand-by mode. The screen may have gone dark but there are a lot of things still running in the background. And the cute screen saver you have? I hate to burst your bubble but it’s not saving your screen from anything. So what can you do? Unplug any devices that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis. Use a power strip with individual power switches to control which devices stay on.
If you haven’t already, change your light bulbs. Not because they’ve gone out, but because they’re eating up your electricity. Halogen light bulbs pose a fire hazard and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs contain mercury. The best option are LED lights. Yes, they do cost more but because they use less energy and are more durable than other light bulbs, LED lights are more cost-efficient in the long run. Like saving the environment? Lucky for you, LED bulbs can be recycled because they don’t contain mercury like CFL bulbs.
I know everyone enjoys a nice, long shower but you know who doesn’t? Your wallet. Hot water is an expensive utility, especially because it uses both water and electricity. Adjust the thermostat to 55 to 60 degrees Celsius and make sure to turn it off completely when gone for prolonged periods of time. Try to take shorter showers, or at the very least turn off the water when shampooing your hair.
The washing machine also uses a good share of the hot water. But unless your clothes are muddy and contaminated, most of the washing can be done with warm or cold water. It’s also eco-friendly to run full loads rather than half loads because according to simple math, it takes twice as much hot water to wash two half-loads.
The dryer is just as guilty of wasting energy. Before using the dryer, clean out the lint filter and add a dry towel to increase efficiency in drying. Remember, keeping your clothes in the dryer for too long is not only a waste of energy, but also creates ugly wrinkles. The best solution would be to make use of Malaysia’s wonderful weather and dry it out in the sun.
So much of what we use daily consumes energy and money. Just by changing a few settings and habits, you can save hundreds on monthly bills and save the environment. Using energy-efficient appliances for big household items are an easy way to be eco-friendly. But why stop at just appliances? Why not make the entire home energy efficient? Check out NuProp for a list of newly launched, environmentally-sustainable properties.
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