Tips for improving the energy efficiency of the home

The refrigerator, television or washing machine are the most consumed appliances. Their continuous or almost daily use requires a series of guidelines to rationalize the expenditure they generate. But did you know that there are a number of tricks that in some cases allow you to reduce that spending by half?

World Day of energy efficiency

Virtually every action we take at home carries an energy cost: turn on the computer, watch the TV, put the washing machine or raise the temperature of the heating. In addition, the considerable increase in the price of energy forces families to reduce consumption, although some are falling into the pit of energy poverty, as we explained a few weeks ago in The crisis, and the consequent reduction of industrial activity, has led to consume less electricity, so much that 2013 closed with levels similar to those of 2005. But the cost of the kilowatt, far from resembling that of eight years ago, has shot at least 70%. That is why, today, World Energy Efficiency Day, it is worth noting the importance of saving and sustainable consumption in order to control spending. Keep these recommendations in mind:

If you need to buy an appliance, it is better to buy the Class A, as they favor the maximum savings, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Energy efficiency levels are determined by a letter ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least). For example, a refrigerator of class A consumes up to 40% less than those of class C. At present, there are already the classes A +++ that consume up to 50% that those of class A.

Refrigerator: The refrigerator is the most energy consuming appliance. Specifically, 30.6% of the electricity bill comes from its use. Despite what we usually think, the reason for this high figure is more due to its continued use than its power. For example, it is estimated that an average refrigerator consumes 200W, compared to 2,000W that can consume a hair dryer. Therefore, to consume less, in addition to looking for a Class A, it must be placed in a cool and ventilated place, keep the refrigeration at 5 ° and freezing at -18 °. In addition, it is important to clean the back at least once a year, open the door as little as possible and especially not put hot food inside.

 Television: Television consumes 12.2% of the energy of our bill. The best way to reduce this cost is to not have a TV, because its quality can be dispensed with without any problem. Even so, other less drastic measures happen to turn off the pilot of “stand by”, or otherwise, the television will consume as much energy being turned off as a computer at full capacity. Also, if you buy a new TV you have to check that it incorporates LED energy, consuming up to 25% less than LCD and up to 40% less than plasma displays.

Washing machine: It is the third appliance that consumes the most. Washing with cold water or at low temperatures, making the most of the load or washing in half-load programs and using the sun to dry clothes instead of the dryer are options that help reduce the price of the invoice considerably. In turn, when it comes to buying it, in addition to looking for Class A, it must be taken into account that the 7-kilogram washing machines, provided that they fill, are more efficient than the five. Therefore, unless you are a single person and do not have large laundry, it is advisable to always choose a 7-kg washing machine. It is important that you have short wash cycles. Finally, the detergent you use also influences. The best is your own, made with recycled oil, as it is 100 per cent biodegradable. If you do not have the time and you want to buy it, much better that it is liquid. Finally, when washing, remember to use as little detergent as possible, never exceed what is recommended by manufacturers even if it seems a little, because if you pass the only thing you will get is that the washing machine has to work more to eliminate it.

Oven: The turn of another of the appliances that consumes the most comes, especially if it is light. Without a doubt, the most efficient oven is the gas, especially the butane, and you can still buy new and very good price. Even so, most homes have an electric oven. For its greater efficiency it is necessary to eradicate some bad habits like preheating because, although it is certain that there are plates for which it is essential, the preheating is an unnecessary expense of electricity. And, especially, you have to avoid opening the door while the oven is on.

This is a very common custom that we have to eradicate, because when you open and close the door you lose up to 20% of energy or, what is the same, a drop of 25 degrees. By last, A good trick is to turn off the oven a little before the dish is finished to take advantage of the heat that is in the interior so that it is finished doing and, therefore, save several minutes of energy that, throughout the year, Can be several hours. At the same time, Heating in the microwave saves 60 to 70% of energy compared to the oven.

 Bulbs: Using energy- saving bulbs can save up to 80% energy. With LED bulbs you can achieve similar savings, but are much more expensive. Even so, it is true that the duration of LEDs is multiplied up to over 30,000 hours of ignition, -the low power consumption does not exceed 15,000 – which means that these bulbs could last up to a decade without melting. Both are recommended to be installed in places where most of the light goes on: living room, kitchen, offices, studios …

On the other hand, the ECO-halogen bulbs, that is to say, the most similar to traditional bulbs, last twice as typical Incandescent bulbs and save up to 30% on the light bill. They are much cheaper and it is advisable to place them in places where the light does not go on much: hallway, toilet, patio … They usually have a life close to 2,000 hours of lighting. Even so,

Heating: Before buying a home it is very important to check where the sun comes out and in what areas of the house it will stick throughout the day. This measure, which may seem insignificant, helps keep the house warm during the winter. At dusk it is important to close the curtains and lower the blinds to reduce heat loss. Likewise, if the windows are changed during a remodeling, it is advisable that they be double glazed. Installing together on doors and windows will reduce heating leaks by 10%.

In fact, a well-insulated dwelling can save up to 30% on heating costs. In winter, do not exceed 18-20 degrees in the house. Each degree above that temperature means an unnecessary expenditure of 10% more energy. By last, present the certificate of energy efficiency. A housing classified as A or B offers annual savings of around 15% compared to those with energy rating G.

Unplug the charger from the mobile phone once the charging is complete. If it is left plugged in, it continues to consume energy.

It is best to avoid, as far as possible, the use of air conditioning. A ceiling fan can be a great substitute.

Replace the bathroom by the shower, the car by the legs or the public transport and above all, do not spend to spend. Think of the environment and be sustainable.