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10 tips to make your home environmentally friendly and save money

washing machine_dial_thirty_28_06_12We all know that times are hard and everyone is looking for ways to save money. One of the largest drains on people’s wallets is the ever-increasing cost of energy bills. There are, however, a number of simple things we can do that will not only reduce our expenditure but which are also environment friendly. Here is a list of the top ten ways to reduce your bills and take care of the environment at the same time:

  1. Unplug your appliances. Having a microwave, laptop or television on standby can use a huge amount of energy, often accounting for up to ten per cent of your electricity bill. Mobile phone chargers use electricity even if there is no phone attached.
     
  2. Cold wash your clothes. Almost 90 per cent of the energy from your washing machine goes to heating the water, so turning the temperature down to 30 degrees or even less is an extremely environment friendly way to make a saving.
     
  3. Think before you cook. Wherever possible, try to heat or cook food in your microwave, or even toaster oven, rather than your oven. Due to the large area that needs to be heated, it requires a huge amount of energy to warm it up.
     
  4. Keep your fridge clean. Try to clean under your refrigerator as often as you can. Along with cleaning the coils at the back, this will ensure that the compressor is not working harder than it should be.
     
  5. Dishwasher or hand wash? Try to hand wash larger items such as pots and pans as this will allow you to fit more into your dishwasher. You should also always ensure that your dishwasher is fully loaded and that the ‘heat dry’ facility is switched off.
     
  6. Lighting. One of the easiest and most obvious ways to save energy and take care of the environment is to replace your light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs. Initially, they may seem more expensive, but they will more than make up for it with the huge savings they will generate on your energy bills.
     
  7. Use fans. You might consider installing ceiling fans or using stand-alone fans, which will use considerably less electricity than air conditioning units.
     
  8. Install a digital thermostat. This will avoid the situation where the air conditioning turns on when nobody is at home and lead to huge savings.
     
  9. Dryer lint. Clean the lint filter every time you use your dryer to ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible.
     
  10. Don’t fill your kettle. Boiling water uses up a lot of energy so make sure you only boil as much as you plan to use.

Picture credit: iStock

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