There are so many ways to be more energy efficient in the different areas of your home.
Choose the right fan. Desk fans are best for small rooms. Stand fans are best for medium-sized rooms because of their adjustable height levels. For large or spacious rooms, consider using ceiling fans with longer blades. The longer the blades, the more air they can push around. Ceiling fans are very efficient in stirring the cooler air along the floor to cool the rest of the room.
Set the right speed. The speed level setting of a fan is directly proportional to its energy consumption. The faster your fan blades rotate the more energy your electric fan consumes. So set your fan speed according to your cooling needs. Based on Meralco Power Lab tests on a 16’’ fan at #1 (low) vs #3 (high) setting for 9hrs/day use, you can save P32.40 a month when you switch to low setting!
Clean fans regularly. The dust that accumulates at the fan blades, motor housings, and grills reduces the air current generated by the fan. Also any form of impurities that pile up at the motor's cover prevent air from naturally cooling the motor. This causes it to heat up more and consume more energy.
Watch TV together. Instead of watching different TV programs on different TV sets and multiplying your consumption, agree on a program you can all watch together.
Unplug your TV sets. This eliminates stand-by power costs. A 21-inch TV can add P15 – P20 on your electric bill every month on stand-by power consumption. Also, use a power board or power strip to help you unplug appliances with just a click.
Choose the right size. Choose the size that best suits your viewing needs. The bigger the TV, the higher the wattage ratings, the more energy you consume. The screen size of your TV should be based on your viewing distance from the unit. For your high-definition TV (HDTV), first measure the viewing distance starting from the viewing area, like sofa or bed, to where you will place the HDTV unit. Minimum viewing distance = screen size x 1.5. Maximum viewing distance = screen size x 3.
Use Energy Saving Mode. This usually dims the backlight, which means lower power consumption. Save energy consumption from 27% to 67% by switching to Energy Saving Mode.
Consider LED TVs. LED TVs are far more energy-efficient than CRT (cathode-ray tube) televisions and Plasma sets. Save up to 77% on energy costs while enjoying the best viewing experience.
INDUCTION HEAT COOKER
Based on Power Lab Tests, induction Cookers are more efficient (82%) than gas (36%) and electric (coil-type) stoves (36%). Induction cookers also cook faster, create less ambient heat so you save on space cooling costs, have precise cooking temperature and time, and are safe from gas leaks and explosions.
OVEN and MICROWAVE
A microwave oven is an energy efficient alternative to a conventional oven. It cooks food faster because the energy heats only the food and not the oven compartment. If available, use microwave or toaster ovens for cooking or warming leftovers. They use up to 30% less energy than regular ovens. To lessen costs further, use glass pans. Glass retains heat, so you can set the oven to a lower temperature.
Keep it closed. Refrain from looking inside a working oven too often and instead use the oven light to check on the food. Twenty percent (20%) of the heat can be lost each time you open the oven door.
Turn it off. Turn the oven off before cooking is complete (up to 15 minutes, depending on the dish). The heat in the oven will continue to cook the dish until finished. Also keep preheating to a minimum.
Choose the right one. Check the attached yellow label. Units with a higher Energy Efficiency Factor cost less to operate. Also, pick the right size for your family. As a rule of thumb, a 7 to 10-cubic foot ref generally holds a food capacity for two people. Add an extra cubic foot for each additional person in the household. If the ref is too big and you don't keep it filled, it wastes energy and costs more to operate.
Provide proper air circulation and location. Keep at least a 2-inch gap behind the refrigerator and on all sides to let air to circulate. This prevents the motor from overworking and allows efficient heat release from the condenser coils. Don't position your refrigerator in direct sunlight or near heat-producing appliances like the stove.
Keep it full, but do not overload. Keep refrigerators at least two-thirds full to allow for proper air circulation of cool air inside. This keeps your food properly chilled. Overfilling the refrigerator hinders the cold airflow, reducing its efficiency. For manual refrigerators, when there is already 1/4 inch frost build up, defrost it. Too much frost also makes your unit operate inefficiently.
Store food properly. Don’t store hot food. Let it cool to room temperature first or your refrigerator has to work harder to bring the temperature down. Also, cover liquids, wrap food, and wipe off moisture from containers. Not covered food releases moisture, which makes the compressor work harder and also cause excessive build-up of ice in your freezer.
Take the paper test. Close the refrigerator door on a piece of paper. If you can pull it out easily or it falls, it means the door seals aren’t working and won’t keep the cold in. That means it uses more energy to keep your food cold. It’s time for some repairs.
Mind the door. It will also help if you minimize the time the refrigerator door is open. Avoid unnecessary opening. Before opening, consider what would you like to take and where its place inside the refrigerator. Avoid choosing or thinking what to take while the door is open.
Consider Inverter Technology. If you’re looking for a new refrigerator, consider Inverter refrigerators as they are more efficient versus conventional units. Based on Power Lab tests, save as much as 50% on refrigerator costs.
Check your ‘Keep Warm’ function. Rice cookers have a ‘Keep Warm’ function that maintains the appropriate amount of heat needed to keep rice warm after it is cooked. Instead of relying on this function, schedule when you’ll cook rice in closer to your eating time. After using your rice cooker and every time it is not in use, unplug the power cord.
Clean your rice cookers. Make sure that the inner pot and hot plate are free from any form of impurities such as burnt grains of rice or hardened food. The surface of the plate should be well cleaned and smooth to allow complete contact with the inner pot. This will ensure efficient and even heating.
Choose the appropriate size of rice cooker. Choose the right rice cooker size according to your household needs. An oversized rice cooker would consume more energy than a properly sized rice cooker.
Plan ahead. Prepare all ingredients before cooking to avoid frequent switching of the electric stove. Thaw frozen food thoroughly before cooking.
Match pots and pans with your stove. Avoid using a big burner for a small pan to lessen heat transfer loss. This saves up to 25% of the electricity you use while cooking. It also helps to use flat-bottomed pots and pans as they allow faster heat transfer and use up to 50% less energy. Cover pots and pans with lids while cooking to prevent heat from escaping.
Save the heat. Turn off the electric stove during the last minutes of cooking. The remaining heat will be enough to keep the food simmering.
A clothes dryer is usually the second or third largest electricity-consuming appliance in your home. Knowing how to operate the machine efficiently will significantly help bring down your electric bill.
Maximize the operation of your clothes dryer. Run only on full loads. Small loads are less economical. But don’t overload the machine. Air should be able to circulate around the clothes to properly dry them.
Sort clothes when drying. The dryer operates most efficiently when drying clothes of the same thickness. Different types require different settings. Dry heavy fabrics, such as cotton towels, jeans, or jackets separately from light fabrics, such as underwear and summer clothes. Light fabrics take less drying time than a mixture of items.
Do not put wet clothes. Make sure clothes are effectively squeezed or spin-dried before putting them inside the dryer. Dry two or more loads in a row and make use of the hot air that's already in the dryer from the first load.
Clean your dryer often. Clean the fluff out of the filter before every load to allow better air circulation. Remove the lint from vent hoods and lint kits.
Place your dryer in a warm and dry space. A clothes dryer in a cold or damp basement will have to work harder to get your clothes dry. We also recommend using a clothesline. During sunny days, hang clothes to dry to lessen the use of your dryer.
Ironing usually takes several hours to finish and may use up as much energy as ten 100-watt light bulbs. Look at the appliance's wattage rating and the number of hours it is being used.
Iron large batches of clothing at one time. This avoids constantly reheating the iron and wasting energy. Also try ironing clothes during weekends when the demand for energy is lower.
Do not overheat the iron. Set the temperature appropriately for the type of clothes to avoid scorching and wasting energy. Different type of clothes require different settings. Also, you can switch off the iron in the last few minutes of ironing. The remaining heat will be enough to press light materials.
Dry, sort and fold clothes properly. When you do this you’ll realize that many clothing items actually require no ironing, or just a quick press. It is also unnecessary to iron towels, drip-dry shirts, etc.
A washing machine makes laundry work a lot easier and saves you more time. Here are a few ways to be more energy efficient and get the most out of your appliance.
Maximize the operation of your washing machine. Wash at full loads. Wait until you can have a full batch. Washing a single item or half loads use the same amount of energy as doing a full load. But don’t overload your unit. This makes it work harder and inefficiently. Also, use the right amount of detergent. Too many suds require extra rinsing which makes your machine use more energy.
Use the right settings. Do not over wash clothes. Different types of clothes require different wash cycles so practice sorting clothes. Delicate clothes do not take as long as dirty heavy clothes. You can also pre-soak soiled garments to avoid having additional wash cycles
Spin clothes properly. When using your spinner, make sure that water is drained from the cylinder and clothes are squeezed to effectively spin-dry clothes. Properly place your clothes inside the spinner to avoid unnecessary vibrations which would prevent the spinner from functioning efficiently.
Switch to Inverter Technology. With Inverter washing machines, they are more efficient to run than conventional types and can save you up to 50% on washing machine costs.
Air conditioners can account for 40% to 50% of your total household consumption. Keeping them in check and with the right technology and practices can significantly cut your cooling costs.
Choose the right one. With the right unit size, your air conditioner will operate properly for peak efficiency and require low maintenance. First, determine the floor area (in square meters) of your room. Cooling capacity is equal to the size of the room (m2) x 500 kJ/hr - m2. Substitute the computed floor area as the size of the room and then multiply this value by the constant 500kJ/hr - m2. The resulting value is the estimated cooling capacity of the air conditioner that you need to install. Be sure to look for a unit with matching cooling capacity as shown on the Energy Guide. If the matching cooling capacity is not available, choose the one with the next higher value. When buying a new air conditioner, look for the Energy Guide (yellow label) attached to the unit and check the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). As a general rule for units with the same cooling capacity, a higher EER means a more efficient unit and a lower operating cost.
Keep your air conditioner in a cool place. A unit operating in the shade uses 10 percent less electricity than when it’s in direct sunlight. Provide shade for your aircon but be sure not to block the airflow. Don't place lamps, television and other items, which can be a source of heat near your unit. The thermostat senses the heat given off by these items, causing your unit to run longer than necessary.
Set the thermostat at the highest most comfortable level. A comfortable room temperature setting is about 24 or 25 degrees Celsius. Setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when turning your unit on will not help cool your room any faster. Based on Meralco Power Lab tests on a 1.0 window-type aircon at mid (25°C) vs high (18°C) setting for 8hrs/night use, save P991 a month when you switch to mid setting! In more general terms, you can save 5% to 8% in energy costs for every one degree setback in your thermostat setting.
Set fan speed appropriately. As a general rule, set the fan speed on high. On very humid days, set the fan speed on low for more comfort. This will cool your room better and will help remove moisture from the air because of slower air movement through the cooling equipment.
Regularly check and clean your air conditioner. Check the filter often by holding it up against the light - if you can't see through it, it's time to clean or replace the filter. A dirty filter blocks normal airflow and significantly reduces its efficiency. Based on Meralco Power Lab tests on a 1.0 window-type aircon at mid setting for 8hrs/night use, clean vs unclean filter; save P334 a month when you clean your filter! In more general terms, follow prescribed maintenance schedule of your unit and save 5% to 15% on your cooling consumption.
Consider Inverter Technology. Inverter air conditioners are more efficient versus conventional units. Inverter Technology’s optimum control of motor operation results in eliminating the consumption of excessive electricity. Based on Power Lab tests, realize savings of 25% to 64% on energy costs using inverters – for the same or even better comfort.
Turn down brightness. Lowering the brightness of your computer monitor will save on energy. Set the brightness down to the lowest comfortable level or down to 50%.
Forget about screensavers. Screensavers do not save energy. Get 90% savings when you turn your computers to sleep mode rather than screensaver mode. But it is still best to turn off your computer instead of running screensavers to completely save on energy. It might not make sense to turn off your computer when going on a short break but it will definitely make sense for longer breaks.
Use a laptop if available. Most desktop computers consume around 70 to 200 watts while laptops would consume between 15 to 60 watts. That’s 70% to 80% difference and savings.
Lighting can account for 20% to 30% of your electrical bill. Some of the brightest ways to save on lighting costs are also the simplest.
Turn the lights off when not in use. Also, maximize the use of natural light whenever possible. It is the best source of light and will help you save on energy. Place reading tables near windows and put skylights in other working areas.
Choose the right kind of lighting. Use lamps that provide direct lighting over desks, beds, and other work areas. This saves you more energy compared to the higher wattage lighting needed to illuminate the whole room. Use low wattage light bulbs in areas that do not need strong lighting such as hallways, foyers and doorways.
Keep lights clean. Clean lighting fixtures regularly, as dirt will lessen illumination by as much as 50%. One can work more effectively under good lighting which lessens the hours of operation of lamps. In contrast, poor lighting will make someone work longer, increasing electrical consumption.
Switch to LEDs. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights (Light-Emitting Diodes). Although they cost more than incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), you save 87% on energy costs vs. incandescent bulbs and 50% vs. CFLs. LEDs also last 5 to 10 times longer.