Energy bills are one of the most important expenses in a family’s monthly budget. More specifically, heating/cooling systems and electrical appliances are the main culprits of energy spending in the home. We are therefore giving you 5 tips to achieve greater efficiency and, at the same time, important energy savings at home.
1. Consider efficient construction
Energy efficiency in housing begins with its construction: the materials and techniques employed will be decisive for its subsequent energy performance. With this baseline approach, sustainable construction aims for buildings to consume self-produced energy adjusted to meet the demand, which directly affects households’ energy spending.
The quality of the materials, structure and insulation used in the building is of paramount importance in reducing energy dissipation in the home. It is calculated that 25% of heat is lost through the roof, 35% through the walls, 20% through windows and walls and the remaining 20% via the thermal bridge. Hence, good design and construction will be fundamental for energy saving within the home.
2. Avoid unnecessary consumption
It is quite usual for certain appliances and electrical systems to consume energy even when are they are not being used. This is what happens when devices are left on standby; they consume electricity if they are not completely switched off.
To avoid the inconvenience of verifying plug by plug that everything is disconnected, socket strips with a switch are very useful. Alternatively, investing in appliances with high energy efficiency ratings can result in significant savings in the medium and long term.
3. Select usage windows
Currently, utilities companies offer time-of-use (TOU) tariffs in which power is cheaper at certain times of the day. According to the Spanish Consumers and Users Organisation (OCU, after its initials in Spanish), these tariffs are very convenient for consumers who can pile 30% of their power usage into a limited time window, i.e. from 22.00 to 12.00 in the winter and 23.00 to 13.00 in the summer. This way it is possible to effortlessly save up to €80 a year.
Furthermore, there are also tariffs that enable you to spread these low-cost windows throughout the day. To choose the best option, it is important to carefully assess your consumption habits before selecting the time-of-use plan to meet your needs.
4. Adjust the heating/cooling system
Bearing in mind that every extra degree’s increase raises consumption by 7%, it is very important to select the optimum temperature for each room. Generally speaking, from 19 to 21ºC is a reasonable temperature for the lounge, whilst a lower temperature of between 15 and 17ºC is recommended for the bedrooms.
On the other hand, it is crucial that heating/cooling systems receive the appropriate maintenance to achieve household energy savings of up to 15% a year. Arrange frequent inspections of your boiler and radiators and your wallet will thank you for it.
5. Incorporating home automation systems
Home automation systems or domotics smartly manage your home and increase your control over your water, electricity and fuel consumption. The monitoring systems in domotics installations give you a precise picture of your household energy spending, which enables you to analyse your consumption habits and thus take effective, targeted savings measures.
Home automation systems can be used to manage:
- Heating/Cooling (aerothermal systems).
- Domestic hot water.
- Electrical appliances.
Furthermore, it is possible to schedule usage in the less expensive time-of-use windows.
Energy saving at home, a responsible practice
We all need to reduce our household energy consumption. In addition to the savings produced by high energy performance buildings, we must not forget the reduction in pollution, which produces environmental and social benefits. Hence, by putting energy-saving strategies into action at home, we ensure more resources will be available over time.