Sustainable tips to cut your household bills

Sustainable tips to cut your household bills

Posted by Andrew McCaig on

    
   
When you’re working to create a more sustainable life, you look at everything from
power & bills to sustainable furniture. So what if you could bring sustainability and
savings together with a few nifty hacks? We’ve done the hard yards and found a
stack of sneaky tips to cut back on household bills while still being sustainable.
And while they might seem small at first, every bit adds up to a whole lot of
savings in the long run. 
       
   

Get appliance-savvy

According to Australian Government research, you could save up to $760 annually
just by making a few changes with your appliances. For starters, ditching the
second fridge or freezer could save you almost $200 a year, while reducing the
amount of energy your home will use.
   
Another way to cut your carbon footprint is by switching off your appliances when
they’re not in use. Some appliances like the TV, computers, microwaves or
washing machines have ‘standby’ modes, which means they keep using energy
even when not in operation, so it’s important to switch them off at the wall.
Even switching off your game console after use could save up to $200 a year.
   
   

 

Fridge & freezer

When it comes to running your fridge and freezer more efficiently and eco-friendly,
there’s a few lesser known hacks you can implement:
   
1. Let your food cool before putting it in the fridge
  
2. Keep your fridge and freezer well stocked, while still leaving room for air to
circulate; put simply, cold items keep the other items cold
   
3. Avoid stacking food packs together in your freezer to prevent them from
freezing together
  
4. Set the temperature correctly - for optimal performance, aim for 3°C in the
fridge and -18°C in the freezer
   
5. Set up your fridge in a shady place in the kitchen so it doesn’t have to work so
hard
    
 

   

Washer & dryer

Straight off the bat, you’ll want to ditch the use of your energy-zapping dryer.
Instead, dry clothes on the line, and you’ll easily save $100 a year.
  
And sure, you might not be in the market for a new washing machine just yet,
but when you are, there’s a few things to keep in mind. A good energy rating
means more efficient energy consumption and eco-friendly operation - and the
more stars it comes with, the more you’ll save.
   
They’re typically more expensive in upfront costs, but most front-loader washing
machines save you money in the long run. They use less power, less water,
and less detergent than top loaders, which will not only save money but play nicer
with the environment. To keep your sustainable home practices in check, don’t
forget to wash clothes in cold water and only run full loads.
   
  
  

  

Sustainable showers

Install a water-efficient shower head and you’ll be saving precious water, as well
as a few hundred dollars on your water bills. You’ll also save money on your
energy bills as less water will need heating.
    
Another eco-friendly home practice is to recycle your grey water from showers,
laundry tubs, and washing machines to use on the garden and lawns. It can be as
simple as putting a bucket or large jug in the shower or sink to catch excess
water, or you can divert laundry appliances with a plumbed-in diverter.
Collecting rainwater in tanks and tubs will also help you cut back on water usage,
be kinder to the environment, and keep household water bills down.
    
  
   

 

You’re hot then you’re cold

When it comes to your air conditioner, the most sustainable saving tip is to use it
less. If you do use the AC, however, there’s a few savvy rules to follow. On hot
days, turn it on early and close up the house, with curtains closed to keep heat
out. This will help cool the house before it’s reached peak heat. In winter, draw the
curtains open to let the sun in early, and start warming the house with AC before
closing the house up in the afternoon.
   
You should also switch your air-conditioner to DRY mode, which will basically
halve the cost of running your AC, while still drawing out enough humidity to keep
your home comfortable. A good, regular clean of your filters will also keep the unit
running efficiently and using less energy.
   
If you’ve got the option, ceiling fans will always be more sustainable and
affordable than your air conditioning. A hot tip is to make sure your ceiling fans are
in the right mode for the season; summer mode helps circulate cooler air,
while winter mode helps send more warm air throughout your room.
   
It would be remiss of us not to add that using organic mattresses and natural
bedding products can help immensely with reducing your AC dependency. By
having low tox pillows & mattresses, and natural material sheets, your bedding
will regulate your temperature and help you sleep soundly, without the need to
run your heating or cooling all night long.
   
   

  

Let there be light

LED lighting is the ultimate switch to save the environment and save your bill
total - and they won’t break the bank either! You’ve probably got loads of LEDs
already, but for the older lights or halogen downlights, it’s time to make the switch.
   
Downlights move through both the ceiling and the insulation, which can potentially
cause heat loss in winter or heat gain in summer - and this can drive your energy
and billing costs way up. It’s important to opt for downlight fittings with an IC or
IC-F rating, as these can be covered with insulation.
   
The other (more obvious) tip is to only use the lights you need. So when you leave
a room, turn the light off as you go, switch off lamps at the powerpoint, and make
sure the bulbs in those lamps are the more energy efficient option.
   
    

  

Seal up your home

As far as savings go, a great energy-efficient trick is to seal and insulate the house
properly. Up to 40% of the heat in your home could be escaping through your
windows, so making the house draught-proof is essential. You can pick up cheap
solutions at Bunnings to seal gaps in windows and underneath doors, which will
make a huge difference to the insulation of your home.
   
If there’s rooms or parts of your house that you’re not going to be using,
try shutting the doors so your AC only needs to heat or cool smaller areas,
working more efficiently in the process.
   
For tips on how to keep cool and ventilated in summer, from fans to organic
bedding and natural pillows, check out our summer sleep guide.
   
    

  

Avoid peak times

Another hot tip for saving on your household bills is to avoid peak usage times.
For example, your energy contract might list peak times as 7am-10pm, so aim for
a shower outside these hours, run your dishwasher overnight, or schedule your
washing machine for an early morning cycle instead.
   

Every little change counts

As simple as some of these tips are, in the end, every bit adds up. Whether it’s
rearranging appliances, sealing your home, switching off powerpoints, or saving
excess water, not only will you create a sustainable home lifestyle, but you’ll be
saving on household bills as well.

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