How to save electricity – getting your home’s energy guzzlers under control
How to easily save electricity at home? Check out Oomi’s easy electricity saving tips to save both energy and money!
A suitable and energy-efficient temperature for your home is 20–22 °C. Changing the temperature by just a degree or two can save a significant amount of energy, and you may not even notice the difference. The bedroom can be a degree or two cooler than other rooms, while the storage space and garage can be kept at 5–12 °C.
You should also keep the following electricity saving tips in mind:
- Make sure that no heat escapes. Check the seals on your doors and windows: it is best to replace them every few years. If you do not like the cold, draught is your worst enemy!
- Air out your home quickly with a cross draught; a few minutes is enough. It is best to turn off the radiator under the window during airing. It is a good idea to draw curtains in front of your windows at night in winter as well – even a small action like this will help prevent heat loss.
- If you are going to be away from home for an extended period, it is a good idea to turn the heating down for the duration of your absence. If you have rooms that are not in active use, for example in a larger house, you should lower their temperature.
- If you can influence the heating solutions of your home, consider the options in the longer term as well. The option with a higher price tag can pay itself back, and then some, if you spread the cost over the next ten years or so. Complementing your heating solutions is also an option: an air source heat pump reduces electricity bills, especially in electrically heated homes.
The water use of Finns varies: some can get through the day with less than 100 litres, while others use up to 300 litres. Of this amount, an average of 40–50 litres is hot water. Heating water consumes a lot of energy, so reducing your water consumption is not only good for the environment, but also makes good economic sense.
In addition to taking quick showers and saving baths for special occasions, the following points are also worth remembering:
- Wash only full loads of laundry. Drop the temperature where possible: if you wash your laundry at 40 degrees instead of 60, the electricity consumption of the wash cycle is halved. Use your washing machine’s quick and eco modes. If possible, dry your laundry on a rack or outside.
- Filling the dishwasher is everyday Tetris at its finest – so wash as full a load as possible at a time and take advantage of the dishwasher’s quicker and more environmentally friendly wash cycles. Also check whether your dishwasher can be connected directly to hot water, which can reduce electricity consumption by up to half compared to a cold water connection.
Around a third of a home’s energy consumption comes from the use of various electrical appliances. An easy way to save energy is to switch off the standby mode of all appliances in your home when they are not in use. Even though the energy consumption in standby mode is small, having many devices continuously on standby adds up to a larger sum over time. For example, mobile phone chargers should be plugged into an extension cord with a power switch so that the chargers can be easily powered, but only when needed.
In addition to small everyday electricity-saving measures, you should also consider the following:
- Older is not always better: newer appliances use up to half as much electricity as older ones. As your old appliances reach the end of their service life, you should consider upgrading them to modern versions (e.g. induction hobs, convection ovens) and more energy-efficient alternatives. When choosing new appliances, check their energy rating: the best option is A–A+++, depending on the type of appliance. Remember to also check the energy consumption when choosing equipment such as heating and ventilation systems and circulator pumps for your home: equipment that is always on plays a major role in electricity consumption.
- It pays to take good care of your household appliances: if the vents in your refrigeration appliances are covered in dust or clogged, or if a layer of ice has formed on the walls of your freezer, the appliance’s electricity consumption can be up to three times higher than normal. The placement of electrical appliances in the kitchen should also be considered carefully: the fridge and freezer should be placed as far away as possible from the dishwasher, hob, oven and radiators to prevent them from heating up and increasing their electricity consumption.
Naturally, you should only keep the lights on in rooms that are in use, but you can also influence your energy consumption by planning your lighting.
These lighting tips can help you shave off some of your energy consumption:
- Upgrade your lights and bulbs to energy-saving alternatives. Old incandescent and halogen lamps should be replaced with very energy-efficient, modern LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps. It really pays off: although LED lamps are more expensive, they have a long service life – up to 10–20 years! The new bulbs also generate more light, while consuming up to 75% less energy.
- Could your home lighting be even more efficient? Instead of a ceiling light, it may be smarter to use work lights or spotlights. For outdoor lighting, you should use energy-saving twilight switches, motion sensors and timers. This way the lights are never on unnecessarily – but always on when you actually need them.
It is estimated that there are more than three million saunas in Finland, many of which are electrically heated. Every sauna lover appreciates the value of a nice and hot sauna, but it is also true that an electric sauna heater can account for up to 15% of your home’s electricity consumption.
When you heat your sauna, you can also get warm feelings from saving electricity:
- The hotter you heat the sauna, the more electricity it consumes. The most energy-efficient sauna experience is at 70–80 degrees.
- The preheating of the heater consumes the most energy. So you should schedule your whole family’s sauna sessions for the same evening!
- If you heat your sauna several times a week, you should upgrade to a heater that is always warm. This kind a heater maintains the heat of the stones continuously, which obviously consumes some energy but results in a clear saving for those who use the sauna a lot.
Over time, small actions can really add up – and simple tips like these are easy to adopt! Good luck with your electricity saving efforts!