John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie gives invaluable advice on saving energy as we head not only into an oncoming expensive ever-increasing energy crisis but amid the terrible war that is raging in Ukraine.
Due to the current economic climate, the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off. Back in 2007, there was an element of truth behind that statement as we were all more conscious of saving in every area of our lives.
In 2022, there is still a need to be frugal when it comes to all things financial especially over the last two months – energy costs in particular have rocketed with no sign soon on any abatement. With a little application however, the euro savings can be spectacular: here are nine ways to save on energy…
1. Saving on hot water
Producing hot water adds to your energy bill unless you have taken steps such as moving to a solar system to produce it for you. If you could only heat what is required when required it could lead to enormous savings. The Instant Hot Water Tap is estimated to save 70% on your energy bill when compared against using the immersion to heat your water.
The Ecocamel Jetstorm is an aerated shower head which basically means that it using about half the water of a traditional shower head without compromising the water pressure. Effectively what is coming out of the shower head is half air and half water but nobody will notice this as it will remain a powerful shower. The estimated payback of installing an Ecocamel for a typical household is about 8 weeks.
You can also restrict the water flow without compromising pressure with a Kitchen Swivel Tap Aerator or in the bathroom with Laminar Flow Tap Aerators.
2. Running radiators more efficiently
There is many to ensure that you are getting the most out of the heat produced from your radiators. Installing Magnetic Radiator Reflective Foil on the back of the radiators ensure that the heat produced by the radiators is reflected back into the room as opposed to lost through the wall.
The Radiator Booster is a fan designed to be placed on top of your radiators. When heat is produced by the radiator the fan switches on and pushes the heat into the centre of the room. This means that the room reaches a comfortable temperature faster and ultimately you don't need to leave the heating system on for as long as you might usually.
If you don’t bleed your radiators regularly it also means that they will not be working to full capacity and thus adding to your energy bill unnecessarily. It is easy to forget this and unless you are quite organised, it probably means a house search every few months for the bleed fitting or another trip to the hardware store to buy a new one..
Automatic Radiator Bleeding Valves will help to optimise the performance of your radiators and save you a lot of hassle in the process!
3. Saving on lighting
As we now enjoy the shorter evenings energy efficient Natural Daylight Bulbs (bio bulbs) are good for body, good for mind and also good for your pocket. Available in screw in and bayonet fittings they are up to 80% more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs.
Reading in bed can catch you falling asleep before putting the lights out. A Light timer then is just what you need. Simply place light timer in bulb socket and place your bulb in the light timer and set it to turn off anytime between five minutes and one hour.
If you like the idea of using nightlights you might as well be using an energy efficient type of nightlight. The Moonlight is four times more efficient to your standard night light and will add no more than one cent per day to your energy bill even if plugged in 24 hours a day.
For outdoor security lights why not go a mains free option which will add nothing to your energy bills? You can go with either a Remote Control Operated Solar Security Light which lights up an area of nine square metres or a Sensor Operated Solar Security Light with a light range of 16 feet.
In the garden you can go with a Solar Spot Light which will effectively illuminate your driveway or pathway at night-time.
4. Using dehumidifiers
Many of you might have been using a plug-in dehumidifier to counter dampness in your home. This can lead to the energy meter running out of control! Try a Pingi Dehumidifier which does the work of a traditional dehumidifier without the energy costs. You will have to charge it in the microwave occasionally but it will save on your energy bill.
5. Saving energy when washing and drying
Save energy by cleaning your clothes and dishes at a lower temperature. Simply insert Magno Balls in both your washing machine and dishwasher for effective results.
Avoid using your tumble dryer and if you do have to use it insert Dry Cubes in the machine. This will help reduce drying time by up to 30%. Only use when you have full loads.
6. Saving energy in the kitchen
Regularly clean the coils on your refrigerator and use a Fridge Thermometer to ensure that your fridge and freezer are operating at the right temperature thus ensuring you are not wasting energy. The recommended temperature to prevent food from spoiling is 2.77°C for a fridge and 17.77°F for a freezer.
With a typical energy consumption of about 3KW, boiling a kettle can use a huge amount of electricity. The less water you boil the less time it takes and the less energy is wasted. If you only require enough boiling water for one cup, you don’t need a full kettle.
Alternatively invest in an Eco Kettle which has two separate water chambers. Fill kettle to the brim but only release what is required at that point in time to the boiling chamber and see you energy bills fall.
7. Secure heating oil against theft
As oil prices continue to rise so too has the theft of oil in Ireland over the past few winters. Install either an Irish designed Tanklok or a more technology advanced Watchman Oil Security Alarm to act as a deterrent against possible theft.
8. No more heat loss and fireplace draughts
Install a chimney balloon in the flue of your fireplace as it helps prevent heat escaping up the chimney and out of your home. It will also prevent cold draughts from entering your home during the cold winter months.
9. Monitor your energy usage
A Plug In Energy Monitor allows you to easily monitor how much energy you spending on an individual electrical appliance. Simply plug the monitor into the wall socket and plug the appliance into the monitor to see what it is costing you.
To get a more detailed idea on your total energy usage it is well worth investing in the new model of the Owl Energy Monitor (CM 180) Simply connect sensor to the over-wire at your fuse box and set your rates against your most recent bill. Then use the portable digital screen around the house to access where you are wasting energy and help you decide where to make behavioural changes.
Keep safe, stay well and pray for the people of Ukraine.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ.