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Small tips for improving the energy efficiency at home and reducing the electricity bills

22 August 2011 / 20:08:22  GRReporter
2947 reads

Victoria Mindova

Did you know that if you use energy saving light bulbs at home, unplug all electrical appliances after use, wash at low temperatures and follow a few other important tips to save household energy, you will be able to reduce your electricity and heat bills by 35%. The new campaign of WWF Economy in Greece began to promote the "secret" tips on energy saving. They have more than one useful effect. Moreover, in times of crisis, households can save money as well as electricity the production of which still emits a significant amount of carbon dioxide in the air

"One of the reasons for initiating the WWF Economy program was the economic crisis and the new conditions to which the citizens have to adapt. The small changes in everyday life and the major differences in the bills will eventually convince the people that it is not only easy to be friendly to the environment but also beneficial," said the program manager of WWF Greece Ahileas Plitiras exclusively for GRReporter. He presented a long list of tips on how an ordinary home could become more energy efficient without zero investment.

These tips teach us how each of us can contribute to protect the environment and our pockets at the same time. Anyone can start with small changes in everyday life that require zero cost from the family budget, but we profit from energy savings.

The golden rule is to forget the stand-by mode of the electric appliances at home. TVs, computers, laptops, printers, DVD and video players and the like should be switched off from the main switch rather than from the remote control or be left in stand-by mode. It is even better to unplug DVD and video players and other home equipment that is not used often. You should never leave chargers for mobile phones, digital cameras or camcorders plugged when not charging these devices. They consume unused electricity, which could increase your bill by 6% due to carelessness or negligence.

"I can surely say that if all citizens in Greece switch off centrally or unplug the electrical appliances that have stand-by mode, the country could supply with electricity an average big island in the Aegean Sea as Lesbos and Chios all year round," said Ahileas Plitiras.

It is important to close the doors and windows when the air-conditioner at home or in the office is operating to avoid the consumption of unnecessary energy. Air-conditioners should be cleaned every year; the interior spaces should be ventilated preferably at night and early in the morning. Ventilate the rooms when the radiator or air-conditioner is not operating. Use natural light and always position the work surfaces and desks to the window.

In summer, interior spaces should be ventilated early in the morning and in the afternoon in winter. Keep the windows closed and shady on hot days. The area will remain cooler if there are sun blinds or tents on the balconies and windows and the experts recommend additional greenery around the building if it is a low-storey building. For the southern regions, where the temperatures in the hot months are particularly high, it is recommended the external walls of buildings to be painted in cool tones that do not attract the sun rays. The opposite is true for buildings in the north countries, which do not enjoy many months of high temperatures during the year.

It is recommended not to cook in the middle of the day during the warm seasons, because the cost of cooling off the internal space increases as well as the electricity bill. Do not place the refrigerator near an oven, radiator or other heat source. Remember that the back of the refrigerator should be off the wall, because otherwise you will have increased energy consumption. When cooking, do not open the oven door often because the oven consumes twice more electricity. Always use the microwave oven to reheat the food and not the oven.

Regulated air-conditioned temperature at home should vary between 19-20° C in winter and 26-27°C in summer. With each degree of increase or decrease, 7-10% of energy saving is reached. If you do not use some of the rooms in your home, remember to turn off the radiators in them or to reduce the heating to maintenance level. Do not cover the radiators and do not place furniture in front of them. For more efficient heating of internal spaces, put reflectors or plain aluminum paper between the wall and the radiator. Thus, there will be no loss of heat and you will significantly reduce its consumption.

The WWF Economy tips are not only for the home but for the private car use too. Maintaining the proper tire pressure in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations could lead to 5% reduction in fuel consumption. Maintaining a constant speed also saves fuel. Avoid sudden braking and use air-conditioning moderately because its operation increases the fuel consumption by 20%.

Ahileas Plitiras stressed that it is much better and economic to move by public transport around the city. If you do not like the crowding in the bus or subway to work and back, use the system for collective use of private cars - several colleagues use the car of a colleague to go to work and back and in turn share the money for fuel. In many cases, the cost is lower than in using public transport and the comfort is beyond comparison.


Tags: EconomySocietyEnvironmentTipsCarbon dioxideElectricityWWF
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