By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Friday, September 14, 2018
If you’re wondering why your power bill keeps climbing, there might be some obvious – and not so obvious – suspects quietly sending your energy consumption through the roof.
We’ve listed the top 3 energy guzzlers at home and how you can reduce your running costs.
Heating and cooling
Air-conditioners and heaters make up 40% of your electricity bill, but there are a few simple ways to reduce the amount of energy they use.
Firstly, servicing both your air-conditioner and heater regularly will help keep running costs down, as well as reduce the chances of the appliances breaking down.
During summer you should wear light, breathable clothing, and set your air-conditioner’s thermostat to between 24C-27C.
In winter, when heating can cost as much as $3.50 an hour, it’s best to set your heater’s thermostat to 18C-21C – every degree higher can increase running costs by up to 10%.
Open blinds and curtains during the day, and let as much sunshine into your home as possible to help heat it for free.
When you turn on the hot-water tap, you’re paying twice over – once for the water and once for the energy to heat it. That’s even more reason to reduce how much you’re spending on water heating.
If your water heater is older then maybe it’s time to purchase a new system. Consider the ongoing running costs of the older water heater, because buying a new, more efficient model could save you money in the long run.
The SA Government has a water-heater calculator to help home owners choose the right system for their house.
You can also take shorter showers, repair dripping taps and lower the water temperature to help reduce water-heating costs.
How much power your appliances are using
Washing machine and clothes dryer
Washing machines and clothes dryers can be big energy users, so you want to try use them as efficiently as possible.
Wash a full load of clothes where possible, adjust the cycle to match the load, and wash with cold or cool water to increase the efficiency of your washing machine.
You could save up to $25 for every 100 loads of washing you do in a 7kg top-loader machine if you use the cold setting rather than warm.
The most energy efficient way to dry clothes is to hang them outside or on a drying rack, but If you do need to use the dryer, clean the lint filter beforehand and don’t overload it.
If you can avoid it, never put soaking wet clothes in the machine.