- Rhona-Rita M. Udtujan
5 Smart Tips to Cut Your Electric Bills in Condo!
Electricity– Just a Life Essential
In our present world, electricity is something we cannot fully live without. But just like any other physical commodities and other essentials in life such as food and heat, it doesn't come for free. Indeed, it is one of the most spectacular and life-changing innovations in the modern history of humans. And without it, life as we know it or just the mere fact of surviving in this age is simply unthinkable.
For homeowners or household members, either living in a condo, own house, or an apartment unit, electricity is almost always a budget concern for every month that arrives. Electric bills often take up the chunk of the pie of monthly utility bills along with internet and cable subscription, among others.
As much as we want to avoid utility expenses, we can’t just go on a day in the household without such utilities especially with using appliances to aid us in our daily cooking and weekend cleaning, to mention some.
Given today's rising prices and living costs due to inflation, we often get surprised and dismayed when faced with the total charge written at the bottom of our electric bills every end of the month. We see the price doubling and even tripling especially during the summer months where cooling systems like fans and aircon units are most used for longer periods.
And this reality cannot be better seen than the situation we are living in right now amid the Covid pandemic. The pandemic has led the majority of the population, just like us, to be kept at home, due to quarantine restriction, to study and work at home in a remote set-up.
Longer hours in front of the computer, television, and screens, hours of lighting, charging of electronic devices, constant cleaning and washing, prolonged use of fans, aircon, frequent opening of the refrigerator, and whatnots – all these have been a common occurrence in our household during the pandemic. And, altogether, they all contribute to the increase of everyone's electricity bills.
That is why in this article we will run down the most common and pretty simple ways on how to actually 'conserve' electricity at your condo unit.
NO EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE NEEDED! Just quick re-thinking of our daily habits on using energy.
These tried and tested tips we are about to explore when faithfully applied and done together, can really be of great help not only in saving money in your wallet but will also contribute towards the protection of climate change in the bigger picture! Opting for energy-efficient approaches will surely reduce your carbon footprint and help conserve our mother Earth.
WANT TO KNOW QUICK AND THRIFTY IDEAS TO REDUCE ELECTRICITY BILLS? Well, if so, then read on!
1. Replace Old Bulbs with LED Lights!
Did you know that lighting roughly accounts for 20% of your household electricity consumption? Due to its seemingly small size, lighting could go unnoticed or even be brushed aside when many are planning on cutting their electricity costs.
However, that is not the case since replacing your old, regular bulbs such as incandescent lights with better-performing lights can go a long way in terms of saving money! And if this is the case, then using LED lights is the one highly recommended! LED or Light Emitting Diode lights can last up to 10 times longer than the regular incandescent bulbs, depending on how long you keep your lights on in your condo unit every day.
It is one of the most must-have devices around that has got the best energy-saving features. On average, a household can save around a huge $655 throughout its lifetime and can save the planet from three tons of CO2 emissions. Accordingly, LED lights use up to 80% less energy than your standard old-style bulbs. Even more amazing, its lifespan can run for as long as 50,000 hours on average.
Using LED lights is definitely a smart house and condo investment!
The use of LED lights has been proven to have a correlation with increased productivity as it is efficient in lighting up your living room and working space and the children’s playroom in your condo, thanks to its capacity to light even brighter than your usual bulbs.
And not only that, but another great thing about it is also it doesn’t emit as much heat as compared to the traditional ones that use more than 90% of the energy to heat, therefore, leaving only the remaining 10% of energy to the actual light production itself. Unlike the old-style ones, LED lights emit ALMOST no heat so prolonged exposure to them will be less of an issue, especially for those situated in naturally hot locations.
Plus, it is really cheap and can be bought conveniently from any hardware store or groceries, thus, making it at the top of our energy-saving list!
2. Maximize and Modify Your Windows
This is another sure way of reducing your monthly electricity consumption in your condo unit without having to spend a lot in maximizing the benefits of windows concerning heat and cool it gives to a condominium.
You have to be largely responsible for the unit’s proper ventilation and temperature. The way you make use of your windows can directly affect your unit’s energy efficiency and consumption depending on the season of the year.
During the summer, the passage of sunlight and heat through windows becomes more of a stressful problem, often causing the air conditioner or AC to work overtime. In order to balance this, you can opt to cover your windows with insulated dressings that can be easily detached anytime such as blackout curtains or cellular blinds which will help to reduce the stressful heat from coming in. White window shades can also reflect the heat away from the condo, too.
Above all, opening windows during a regular day will allow the natural lighting to light up the whole room which, in turn, can boost the household members' mood and productivity.
These window dressings can be easily bought in the nearby department stores and will only require minimum manual work to install!
3. Know the WAYS of the Air conditioner
An air conditioner has always been one of the many permanent appliances found in a condo. Since it is not as affordable as some kitchen appliances, you always have to make careful thinking and adjustments in choosing what AC to buy based on your budget.
Nowadays, the inverter technology present in most AC models eliminates wasted energy in ACs by efficiently controlling their motor speed. An inverter type ACs can save up to 58% energy compared to the non-inverter type because the temperature is adjusted by changing the motor speed without turning the motor ON and OFF, therefore, consuming less energy. That said, you may want to check on this feature before moving into a condo unit and buying appliances or the next time you are planning to buy one.
Air conditioners account for 40% to 50% of your monthly electricity bill. To save more on electricity, we advise that the thermostats should be set ideally at 25° C to keep your place cool, and don’t forget to set the timer if you plan to use it for a longer period. Regularly clean its filter as you see fit. How? The tip here is that upon holding the filter up against the light, you should be able to see through it. Otherwise, it’s time for you to clean it.
Check for air gaps in the room as well because there could be spots where the air can escape. When turning on ACs, don’t immediately set the thermostat at a lower temperature than normal on the outset since it will not cool your living space or room any faster. This attempt at excessive cooling will result in unnecessary expenses.
It is also important to keep your aircon always clean and maintained. With proper care of the aircon and its system, you can avoid paying higher electric bills and repair fees. BedandGo offers Aircon Services starting at P3,000.00. You can check it out here:
Another interesting and basic tip of cooling the room is aiding the AC with fans instead of blasting the air conditioner all day long. That way it can keep the breeze moving through the condo.
4. For Power Saving
Are you aware that condo appliances and devices like TVs, computers, and microwave ovens continue to consume energy even when they’re turned off? This instance is called the ‘phantom load/electricity’ where these devices still use up to 75% of energy for using standby power even when not in use as long as they’re plugged in.
Undeniably, the first solution we will normally think of for this is unplugging these devices, right? However, there is a far more convenient way to resolve that!
That is with the use of a power strip! Power strip refers to a device that has multiple outlets and connects to a standard power outlet and allows you to turn off a group of appliances and devices with just a flip of the switch, ensuring that these electronics are COMPLETELY turned off without having to unplug them one by one.
5. Always Close the Fridge without Delay
The refrigerator, as we know, remains one of the top electricity consumers at home since it is constantly turned on 24/7, for it to maintain a certain temperature to keep the food and drinks cold inside. The ideal temperature for it is pegged at around 4° C to keep your food to be properly preserved according to FDA standards. So, some habits related to using a fridge should be corrected to attain its efficient energy consumption over time.
The frequent opening of the refrigerator can lead to a bump in your electricity bill. When the door is opened more frequently, the cold air escapes which means that the refrigerator has to generate extra energy to return to its standard temperature once the door is closed. Secondly, make sure that your refrigerator is regularly defrosted as too much frost build-up makes the freezer less energy efficient. Lastly, it is also important to have its rubber seals regularly checked to see if it is fully intact to tightly seal the cold air inside and prevent outside air from seeping in.
Moreover, you may also want to protect your refrigerator from external sources of high heat nearby, particularly being placed away from range, oven, or direct sunlight from the window. This might force your unit into working in overdrive just to keep your food chilled in perfect temperature.
Whether you live in a house, apartment, or condo unit, there are plenty of simple ways that can be done to lower the cost of your electricity bills. These tips are aimed at everyone-- whether you are single, young professional, newly-weds, family man/woman, tenant, or a homeowner-- to raise awareness of different less-expensive options on how to live economically without having to sacrifice your comfort, productivity, and the general joy in your home environment.
More than the practical benefits it gives to you as an individual, making an active effort in conserving energy makes you a conscientious consumer in this highly upgraded and material society. The options and benefits it brings to you, whether directly or indirectly, lead you to an understanding just how much you actually consume and how it impacts the bigger picture.
One does not have to be an expert to be able to do so, as doing a little push for it is enough to get you started. Take note of these home energy-saving tips as they will surely save you money in the long run!