Controlling your electricity consumption to have a pleasant surprise on your bill is a bit like the quest for the Grail, it doesn’t seem to be won in advance.
And yet, there are a number of tips, good practices, eco-actions that can put you on the right track. Here are the top 10 tips on electricity consumption.
You might also like our 9 practical tips to make your favorite clothes last longer.
Insulate your home properly
Your home is very hot in summer and particularly cold in winter? Can you feel the air passing around the windows or under the front door? Are the walls often icy in the winter?
Some rooms are more difficult to heat than others? Some are damp and you sometimes see some traces of mould?
No doubt, the insulation of your house is weak. As you have already noticed, your gas and electricity bills are much higher than they should be.
It is estimated that a poorly insulated home lets 25 to 30%* of its heat escape through the roof, 20 to 25% through the walls and 10 to 15%* through the windows.
And it is expensive.
Ok, but, how to start?
First priority: Thermal insulation, of course! The roof, attic, walls, doors, windows and floors are mainly concerned. For example, in a new construction, it is the entire walls of the house that must be insulated.
In the old ones, it is unfortunately not always possible to review everything. So you can do it zone by zone. The attic is the first place to protect because the hot air rises and it is through the roof that the energy losses are the greatest.
Think of soil work too, even if it is sometimes difficult to do. Next come doors and windows. Why? Because ventilation is also a significant cause of energy loss. So be careful at the joints and always prefer double glazing.
Thermal insulation at home: choose the right materials
Insulation materials have made great strides in recent years: more efficient, environmentally friendly and economical too.
Among the main materials currently used:
– Mineral wool, glass wool or rock wool insulators are the most commonly used insulators. Because they provide an excellent thermal performance/price ratio
– Biosourced insulators, as their name suggests, are insulators made from plants: wood fibre, hemp, flax, cellulose…
– Mineral wool insulation made from sheep’s wool or duck feather to which binders are added. These insulating materials are an interesting ecological alternative to mineral wool. They are particularly effective for attic insulation.
– Polystyrenes from the petrochemical industry. These insulators are suitable for all types of insulation: roof, walls, floors. They can be in the form of rolls, panels or foam to be sprayed.
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Heating, yes, but smartly!
Another factor of electricity consumption (over-consumption?) in winter is the overheating of rooms: according to the RTE, a temperature between 62°F (in living rooms) and 64°F (in bedrooms) is more than enough, even if this threshold is regularly exceeded.
To avoid overheating, many devices, from simple thermostats to connected objects, provide better control of the temperature of the rooms in the home.
Also remember to close the shutters (or curtains) in the evening. Similarly, do not leave the windows and doors open too long to avoid a sudden drop in temperature.
In the same spirit, remember to turn off your heating when you air. And do not to leave it open for more than five consecutive minutes.
One good habit: Lower the temperature of your home, especially in rooms where you are not present. Indeed, lowering the temperature by 1 or 2 °F will allow you to achieve up to 7% energy savings.
Optimize refrigeration equipment
Appliances that “produce cold”, i.e. refrigerators and freezers, account for 35% of electricity consumption. It is therefore on them that your efforts should be focused as a priority.
But what it is the right temperature?
The standard is simple, the food must be at a maximum temperature of 41°F at the top of the fridge. For this purpose, the temperature of the refrigerator must be 40°F in the upper floor, no more, no less. Remember to check this temperature regularly, using a simple thermometer and adjust the thermostat accordingly.
On the other hand, for freezers, the recommended temperature is 0°F, as for refrigerators, remember to check it regularly. 1°F less represents a saving of about 5%.
Don’t forget! Keep them away from heat sources, especially if you follow Roast Chicken: 5 Tips For Roasting The Perfect Chicken
The hotter it gets in the room, the more the fridge will consume to “produce cold”. It is therefore important to avoid putting them next to a heat source such as an oven, plates, radiator or behind a south-facing bay window….
Maintain refrigeration equipment
1mm of frost represents an over-consumption of about 10%. It is therefore important to defrost your cold production equipment regularly (every 6 months).
Similarly, placing your appliance at least 5 cm from the back wall and cleaning the back grill once a year will allow your refrigerator to properly dissipate heat and consume less.
Checking the joints is also important. To do this, place a sheet of paper between the door and the body of the unit. Once closed, the sheet must not move and you must have resistance when trying to remove it.
If this is not the case, it means that the device is not waterproof. A refrigerator seal costs between 10 and 40$, but will save you 50$ on 1 year.
Tip: To avoid over-consumption, do not place dishes that are still hot in the refrigerator. In addition, when defrosting, just place your dish in the refrigerator a few hours in advance.
As a result, you will avoid using the microwave and you will relieve your fridge by giving it cold. For the freezer, you can fill the empty spaces with 3/4 full bottles of water, they will help to keep the cold.
Avoid air conditioning
Even in the most affected areas, it is possible not to air-condition.
Here are some solutions that will allow you to spend a cold summer, even in areas where the summer is hot, with little electricity consumption.
* By programming the ventilation so that it happens in the morning and causes “cold” to accumulate in the house
* By closing the shutters of the most exposed bays in the south
* By treating the most exposed glazing (low emissivity solar films)
* By placing solar caps over the most exposed bays
* By installing reinforced insulation, ideally from the outside
* By opening the windows at night to cool down deeply, the walls of the house
* By cooling with a Canadian well
The magic of standby cut-off power outlets
Studies have shown that the annual electricity consumption of standby electrical appliances costs an average of $86 per household per year.
An expense that can be minimized simply by using “standby” power outlets, electrical outlets combined in the same unit, which is equipped with an on/off button.
Connect electric devices such as televisions, computers, telephones, game consoles, chargers, internet boxes, etc. to this type of power supply. Then it is easy to switch off their power supply via the on/off button when they are not in use.
Wash your clothes in cold water.
It is often as efficient as hot water and can save up to 50% of energy.
One should know that only very dirty laundry needs to be washed in hot water. For the rest, opt for cold water laundry.
When we know that 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine is due to water heating, we understand that this represents a considerable saving.
Don’t miss our 9 practical tips to make your favorite clothes last longer.
Avoid using the tumble dryer
Install a clothesline in your garden and let Mother Nature take care of drying your clothes. For small apartments, dry your laundry in your bathroom.
Optimize space by purchasing a clothes dryer that you can install in your bathtub or shower cubicle. If you really can’t do without the tumble dryer, remember to clean the lint filter thoroughly to optimize the operation of your appliance and thus consume less.
Produce your own electricity: it’s possible and not so complicated!
There are now many solutions that will allow you to produce your own electricity. And therefore to adapt your electricity consumption to your needs. For example, you can choose to install a solar kit or even a wind turbine at home!
- Solar panels transform light into electricity. This is a much more economical solution. Depending on the manufacturer, the power of the solar panel varies, but it is estimated that 1 m² of well oriented photovoltaic panels produces an average of 100 kWh per year.
- So 10m² of photovoltaic panels can produce in 1 year the equivalent of the electricity consumption of a family of 4 people!
How much do solar panels cost? The price varies according to the type of photovoltaic solar cell used: amorphous, monocrystalline, or polycrystalline. Here again, we vary between 10,000 and 25,000$, including installation.
* You can also install wind turbines, but those are limited to windy regions. Individuals often opt for machines from 8kw to 30kw, which can then produce between 10,000 and 50,000 kwh per year.
How much does a wind turbine cost? Prices generally vary between 10,000 and 25,000$, but there are state subsidies, general councils of regional authorities, or public bodies that’s can help.