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In a country where temperatures can easily hit 40.2 °C during the hottest days of summer, it can be too easy to rack up a larger electric bill than is normal. With utility bills already eating up a huge amount of everyone’s monthly expenses, any further cost to it is far from ideal. Your electric bill can skyrocket easily over the summer months because of a lot of things – you’ve got kids at home and they’re all on their gadgets, or you’re consuming so much more electricity to keep the house and everyone in it cool. Preventing your utilities from ballooning oppressively isn’t going to be so easy, but here are 10 power-saving tips for the summer that you should check out. ​

  1. Use natural light and energy-efficient light sources

Using natural light means that you’ll rely mostly on sunlight throughout the day, and only switch on electric lights when night finally falls. Keep the curtains open, let the sunlight stream in, as warm as it might be. Some creative repositioning of furniture and appliances might be in order so that you don’t end up with the sun glaring into your monitors and TV screens. For light sources, you’ll want the energy-efficient kinds – like Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LED bulbs tend to be pricier, but they consume way less energy and last longer. You’ll consume less power when you use smaller bulbs in smaller rooms as well.

  2.Keep your fridge full, but not too full

Refrigerators eat up between 10 to 20 percent of most households’ electricity, which is why frequently opening it and leaving it open tends to cause a spike in your consumption. Heat enters the unit and makes it more difficult to cool down. But an empty refrigerator also does the same thing, because you’ve got empty cold air in the unit than if it were mostly full. For purposes of power saving, it’s ideal to stock your fridge with the necessities: bottled water in the freezer, food that may go stale on the lower shelves. This ensures that there’s less cold air that may escape.

  3.Avoid oversized air-conditioning units

Summer means that your aircon units will be doing a lot of heavy lifting in terms of keeping your home sufficiently cooled. Larger units with larger horsepower will cool your home down in less time than smaller ones would, that’s true, but they also consume way more power than necessary. According to the Meralco Appliance Calculator (MAC), a 2.5 HP unit can cost you around Php 1,254.27 per month, while a 1.5 HP unit only costs Php 589 a month. This is if you use it for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. Smaller units might take longer to cool a room, but it’ll be less costly to do so. To make your units even less of a power guzzler, you’ll want to check out AC units equipped with an inverter, which cools a room quickly, then operate at lower speeds to save power.

  4.Unplug everything unused

You may think that simply removing your phone from its charger stops the electricity consumption. It doesn’t. You’ve been told this by your parents and teachers. Switching appliances and other devices don’t always mean that they aren’t drawing power because they’re still on standby. It still holds true to unplug things that aren’t currently being used to prevent them putting a drain on your power and driving up your bill.

  5.Use a power board

Power boards are more commonly known as extension cords, and can support several devices at the same time – it also allows you further control because you can simply turn the power board off to completely prevent any unnecessary power draw from the gadgets plugged in. Naturally, the power board is the only thing you’ll need to unplug so that it doesn’t stay in standby mode even if you’ve switched it off. Keep also in mind to keep away from bad electrical practices like octopus connection, to prevent electricity hazards.

  6.Switch out your gas range to an induction cooker

You might wonder why switching to an appliance that actually consumes electricity is more efficient than the gas range. Gas ranges give off more heat than an induction cooker would, which raises the temperature in a given area and causes more strain on appliances dedicated to cooling, such as air-conditioners and refrigeration units. Because induction cookers work on electromagnetic induction, 82% of the heat is transferred directly to the cooking vessel, it’s already a more efficient than a gas range, which wastes around 64% of heat during the cooking process.

  7.Clean and maintain appliances

The dirtier your appliances are, the more power they consume, and by extension – the less efficient they are at what they do. Keeping your AC units, electric fans, refrigerators, and other appliances clean and well-maintained are key to ensuring that they perform to peak efficiency. The same concept applies to your PC and gaming consoles. It also prevents overheating. The same is also true for light fixtures. Regular cleaning means that you get more light everywhere.

  8.Alternate laundry days

If you’ve got a washer/dryer combo, you’ll consume less power if you stop it once it’s done the final drain cycle. Sunny days and a bit of elbow grease can do the same job of a spin dryer, minus the cost of electricity. If you’re looking into getting a washing machine, the front-loading ones are more efficient than the top-loading ones, as they power down faster and use less electricity to spin the tumbler.

  9.Space your appliances

Spacing is important to prevent heat sources being in the same location and saturating an area, forcing your cooling appliances to work overtime. It’s highly ideal to keep your refrigerator at least four inches away from a wall, while computer towers should be placed 2 inches away from the wall. Air conditioner units do their best jobs from higher placement as cold air travels downward.

  10.Check for the Energy Guides

If you’re buying appliances, they have tags which denote their power consumption and efficiency ratings. The highest Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) means that these will run at low power consumptions and lower operating costs. 

Final thoughts

Being energy-efficient doesn’t mean that you’ll do without much of the things that provide you with comfort and entertainment during the sweltering months of summer, it just means that you’ll need to find more efficient ways to make sure that your appliances and gadgets are working at peak perfection.


Credits: Article by Kyle Kam