We give you some simple tips with which you will reduce household expenses. Some of them will be very good for you these days when we will spend a lot of time at home during the quarantine.
1. PLAN THE LIGHTING.
It is important not to spend more than desired on the light. Also, if you paint the walls and ceiling in a light color you gain in luminosity and, consequently, consume less light.
2. CHANGE THE BULBS.
Replacing all the bulbs with others of low consumption saves, for each one, about $10 a year. If you have 30 at home, it’s about $300 per year. A good number, right? The LEDs are even more efficient and increasingly used in home decor. Although their price is a little higher, they not only consume less but offer more durability (25,000 hours compared to 5,000 of low consumption), obtain their maximum luminosity instantly, and do not deteriorate due to successive blackouts.
3. CALCULATE YOUR CONSUMPTION.
A consumption meter helps to know instantly and in euros what you consume. They are not very expensive (from $100) and can lower the electric bill by 45% (if the heating is gas, then up to 20%). Some allow programming to the shutdown.
4. CHECK THE FACILITIES.
It is necessary both for security reasons and to avoid overspending. In new houses, the review should be done every 10 years, while those older than 25 years should undergo a study every 5 years. Before doing it, ask for budgets.
5. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS.
It is necessary both for security reasons and to avoid overspending. Do not forget, small gestures are what save.
6. CLEAN BULBS AND SCREENS.
Keep the bulbs clean, as the dirt absorbs light and consumes more electricity to achieve a certain intensity. Do it often, always with the bulb off. Repeat the same operation with the lampshades.
7. BEWARE OF VAMPIRES.
Leaving household appliances or the computer with the pilot light increases the electric bill by between 5 and 16%. Instead of turning them off by the remote and leaving them in stand-by, plug them into a power strip with a switch. Thus, just by turning it off, you deactivate it completely.
8. WHAT IS THE COMFORT TEMPERATURE?
It is estimated that 20ºC is the optimal temperature for the whole house. For each additional grade, consumption increases between 5 and 10%. At night and when you are not, put it at 15 ºC. Good temperature graduation can save you more than $150 a year.
9. INSTALL A THERMOSTAT.
It is simple and cheap (from $50). Programmable thermostats let you tailor the temperature to your habits and set what time the radiators turn on. Check their instructions to get more out of them.
10. CHECK THE BOILER.
A boiler dirty with dust or grease consumes more. Do not wait for it to break down to review it since with good periodic maintenance you will not only lengthen its life, you will also reduce the bill by 10%. Ideally, you should check it once a year at the start of the season.
11. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BLINDS.
Raise them during the day to let the sunlight in and warm the house naturally and lower them at night to protect the house from the cold. You can do the same with the curtains (the thicker the better). Strengthens the insulation of the windows with weatherstripping.
12. ADAPT YOUR CLOTHES TO THE TIME OF YEAR.
If it’s winter, why do you go home in short sleeves? Do not dress in December as in August and you will avoid “throwing” heating when it is not so cold or having it at an excessively high temperature. Close doors to heat the room you want faster.
13. CONCENTRATE THE HEAT.
If there are rooms that you hardly use, you don’t need to spend on heating them. Close the doors, so that the heat is concentrated in the part of the house you use, and even close the key on your plates. With this gesture, you can save between 5 and 8% of energy.
14. INSULATE WITH RUGS.
The rugs also help warm “cold” floors such as marble or porcelain.
15. DO NOT COVER THE RADIATORS.
Its ideal location is under the windows because the filtered air helps distribute the heat. Of course, avoid covering them with curtains or other objects since they then “work” more to heat the same thing. Radiator covers are not recommended.
16. TURN OFF THE COMPUTER.
If you are not going to use it in half an hour, it is best to turn it off, since the hard disk does not wear out. When it comes to short intervals it turns off the screen, which is what consumes the most. Keep in mind that when the energy-saving mode is activated, its consumption is reduced to 15%.
17. FANS ALL YEAR.
Ceiling fans are also very useful in winter. As the hot air tends to rise, when putting it in the “winter” position the blades invert their usual sense and move the accumulated air towards the ground.
18. SOLAR CHARGERS.
For the mobile phone or laptop, a solar charger recharges batteries with zero energy costs. The conventional ones consume between 0.03 W (the most efficient) and 0.5 W and their main problem is that if they stay plugged in without devices they continue consuming.
19. DON’T WASTE WATER.
The toilet is not a wastebasket. Don’t throw papers in there and then empty the cistern. To avoid this, have a small bucket in the bathroom. It is estimated that 30% of water consumption comes from the toilet and that each person flushes it a thousand times a year.
20. WITH DOUBLE DISCHARGE.
The double discharge or interruption systems of this are the most suitable to reduce water consumption. If you have an old tank, you can adopt them without problems without having to change the entire system. They are available at DIY or faucet stores.
21. WATCH OUT FOR LEAKS.
A leaking faucet is estimated to waste about 35,000 liters of water a year. When you detect that it is leaking water, close the stopcock when you are not using it. You can do the same if your toilet leaks water. To detect the leak, put a few drops of dye in the tank.
22. TURN OFF THE TAPS.
While you lather up in the shower or brush your teeth, don’t let the water run. About 10 liters of water is wasted in one minute. Also, open the tap as little as possible. If you wash your hands you don’t need the full flow of 20 liters per minute, 6 liters per minute is enough.
23. BETTER TO SHOWER.
By showering instead of bathing you can save up to 70 liters of water each time. If you can, install thermostatic taps and you will also save.
24. THE TEMPERATURE INSTANTLY.
A two-handle mixer takes almost a minute to reach the desired temperature, while a thermostatic one takes two seconds. This saves about 80,000 liters of water per year. It is possible to replace the ceramic cartridge with a thermostatic kit and not have to change the tap.
25. INSTALL AERATORS.
Installing an aerator to the faucet is very easy, as they are purchased from the hardware store and screw onto the faucet spout. This device mixes air with water without affecting the water pressure and reduces consumption by 50%. There are also showerheads with this system.
26. FLOW REDUCERS.
Flow restrictors are easily installed at the faucet mouth and prevent the faucet from opening beyond a predetermined angle. They can also be installed in the shower. Thus, the water consumption of the taps goes from 15 to 8 liters per minute, and that of the shower from 20 to 10 liters.
27. WATER WITH CRITERIA.
Whether on the terrace or in the garden, go for native plants (as they are adapted to the climate they need less water) and group them according to your water needs. Do not water them during the hours of sun and, if you can, take advantage of the rainwater to water the plants.
28. WASH, COLD!
If you wash cold, you save, since almost 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine is to heat the water.
29. SAVES RESOURCES.
Fully load both the washing machine and the dishwasher. If you cut the times you put these appliances in half, you can save around $150 a year. When you do it at half load, always use the economic programs.
30. MORE EFFICIENT APPLIANCES.
If you have to renovate any white goods, bet on the most efficient: class A + or A ++. Throughout its useful life, it can save more than $700, since it is estimated that these are responsible for 40% of energy consumption.
31. BETTER BY MACHINE THAN BY HAND.
Rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher or washing them by hand with hot water can be 60% more expensive than doing it at full load in an efficient dishwasher. Always try to choose low-cost or low-temperature programs.
32. IRON LESS OFTEN.
Accumulate more for ironing and iron less often. It is a way to save energy. Also, you can leave garments that are not very wrinkled for residual heat and you just want to review.
33. BE CAREFUL WITH THE DRYER.
The dryer is one of the most consuming appliances. Use it as little as possible, only when you can’t hang clothes, and don’t mix clothing types (like cotton with heavier clothes). Choose the “iron stitch” cycle, which ends earlier.
34. USE THE FRIDGE WELL.
Every time you open the fridge you waste 7% energy. Let the food cool before putting it in the fridge and thaw it in it, thus taking advantage of its cold. Keep it full, but with room for air to circulate.
35. COLD AT ITS POINT
Check that your fridge is located in a cool and ventilated place away from heat sources. Set the temperature of the refrigeration zone to 5ºC and the freezer to –18ºC. For each degree you lower, you increase your energy consumption by 5%.
36. FREEZE OR VACUUM PACK
Use the freezer to avoid wasting anything. If you cook too much, freeze the leftovers in portions. Always indicate the freeze date and what it is about. You can also vacuum pack for weekly servings. You will extend the life of food up to five times.
37. WHEN COOKING.
Choose pans and casseroles equal to or larger than the cooking zone fires: you’ll avoid wasting their heat. If you hit the size you reduce the energy expenditure by 20%. If you cover pots and pans when cooking, you reduce cooking times and save.
38. MICROWAVE BETTER THAN OVEN.
The microwave uses much less energy than an oven. But if you are going to use the latter, when it is running, do not open it much.
39. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WASTE HEAT.
In electric cookers, except for induction cookers, if you turn off the fire between two and five minutes before finishing a dish, you have just cooked it using the residual heat. Using the express pot or steaming also reduces consumption and is also healthy.
40. CHECK YOUR PANTRY.
Don’t overfill it and periodically check expiration dates.
41. TO GO SHOPPING.
Make a list of your needs. To prepare it you must decide in advance the weekly menu.
42. SET YOURSELF A BUDGET.
It is not a matter of adding the products of the car one by one, but of not exceeding an approximate quantity. This way you will prioritize what you need and leave the superfluous only if you have a budget for it. It does not hurt to write down the expenses month by month.
43. BETTER ON A GOOD SCHEDULE.
If it can be, avoid rush hour. Set a time limit, since it is proven that the more time you spend in a supermarket, the more you buy. Ah! and a classic: avoid going hungry.
44. FIND, COMPARE.
Compare prices between establishments because you can save up to 200 euros compared to the previous year. Entering the first store without comparing prices increases spending by 40%. You can compare prices at www.carritus.com or www.tudespensa.com.
45. BEWARE OF OFFERS.
Be guided by the prices, not by the offers, since sometimes the products on offer are more expensive than others in the same range. In products that you always use you can take advantage of the 3 x 2 promotions (calculate the real price you pay per unit to know if it works out for you).
46. SEASONAL PRODUCTS.
Seasonal products are cheaper (up to 15%) and retain their nutritional properties.
47. LOOK FOR YOUR POCKET AND YOUR HEALTH.
Limit the consumption of packaged and pre-cooked products (less healthy, they are 30% more expensive). Spend a day cooking and freezing and you will earn money and health. Plan menus that take advantage of leftovers of fruit and vegetables, such as omelets, salads, or rice.
48. JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT.
Don’t buy fruit and vegetables in larger containers than you need. Thus, you not only reduce the plastics, but you also prevent the fruit from spoiling and you can choose the pieces one by one. Always look at the price per kilo, not per unit (it is misleading).
49. HAVE YOUR OWN GARDEN.
If you live in a small flat, plant some aromatic pots, but if your house has a garden or terrace, take advantage to grow your fruits and vegetables. You will save and gain satisfaction
50. LOYALTY CARDS.
If you become the client card of the establishments that most visit you will have access from preferential offers to discount vouchers (between 15 and 20%), including invitations to educational activities. Not only for food but also decoration, like the Ikea Family.
You do not need to change the facilities or the appliances, just by making small changes in your daily habits you can reduce your bills and thus save at home. Your pocket will notice.