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Tips for saving money
 

Efficient and smart use of energy will enable you to save money on your bills while you care for the environment

Air conditioning, Heating and hot water ...

Air conditioning: Air conditioning can account for up to 10% of a home's total energy consumption

Here are some simple tips to help you reduce your energy consumption and slash your bill:

  • Switch off your air conditioning when there is no one at home or in the room being cooled: it only takes a few minutes to cool the room as you want it.
  • Fit a  thermostat if your air conditioner does not have one, or if it does not provide accurate information on temperature: this will help you save energy and improve your comfort.
  • Install the air conditioner thermostat as far away as possible from heat sources (the sun, lamp, etc.).
  • A 26ºC temperature is comfortable, our body does not need a lower temperature to experience a sense of comfort. For each degree of temperature less, your air conditioning consumes between 4% and 6% more energy.
  • When you switch on the air conditioner, do not set the thermostat at a lower than normal temperature; the air conditioner will not operate at higher power and will not cool the house more quickly.
  • Keep the filters clean. You will save energy and extend the appliance's useful life.
  • You can save up to 30% on your air conditioning bill by fitting awnings and closing blinds to stop hot air from entering the home, and by insulating walls and roofs properly.
  • Air the house when it is cooler outside than indoors (early morning and at night), opening windows at opposite ends of the house.
  • Make sure the cooling appliances are properly installed. For optimal operation, air conditioners need good air circulation and protection from the sun. If they are fitted on a building's roof, it is advisable to install a protective cover.

Heating and hot water: Heating can account for 45% of your home's total energy consumption

Here are some simple tips to help you reduce your heating consumption and slash your bill:

  1. Heating and hot water: HEATING

    • Raise the blinds during the day. The sun provides free light and heating for your home. In the evening, close the curtains and lower the blinds. This will cut down on heat loss.
    • If you change the windows in your house, make sure the new ones are double glazed. They will save you around 15% in heating costs.
    • By installing draught excluders in doors and windows you can reduce heat loss by 10%. Remember, a properly insulated home can save you up to 30% in heating expenses (and up to 50% in single-family homes).
    • You only need 10 minutes to air a room completely.
    • If you fit thermostats and thermostatic valves on the radiators you can regulate the temperature according to your needs and save more money.
    • A temperature of between 20º and 22º is enough to feel comfortable. For each additional degree, heating consumption increases by between 6% and 8%.
    • You can save on your heating bill if you lower the thermostat temperature by 5º when you are away from home or if you set the thermostat to the “economy” position.
    • Never cover the radiators or place any object near the radiators, as this will obstruct proper heat diffusion.
    • Each area in the home needs a heating temperature and it is important to set the right temperature.
    • You can save on your heating bill if you lower the thermostat temperature 3º or 4º at night.
    • You save money if you bleed the radiators at the beginning of the heating season, because the air inside makes it difficult to transmit the heat.
    • You save money if you keep the pressure inside the heating circuit within the limits defined by the boiler manufacturer.
    • Keeping the individual boiler in perfect working condition can save up to 22% in gas consumption.
    • Condensation boilers use up to 35% less energy than conventional boilers.
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  2. Heating and hot water: HOT WATER

    • The water heater should be fitted as close as possible to where the hot water is used (kitchen, bathroom).
    • Having a shower instead of a bath saves up to 75% of energy and water.
    • Using low-flow shower heads, mixer taps and flow limiters in taps can save up to 50% of energy and water consumption.
    • By fitting a mixer valve to the water heater outlet you will get hot water at a constant temperature: greater convenience and lower energy use.
    • If you set the heater above 60oC, you will reduce its lifespan and waste energy.
    • Using storage immersion heaters and signing up for a time-of-day rate you can cut your hot-water bill by more than 50%.
    • Choosing temperature regulated taps with thermostat in the shower can save you between 4% and 6%.
    • You can save money in hot water if you set the boiler to provide water at a temperature of around 36º. 
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Lighting: Lighting can account for as much as 9% of your energy consumption

Here are some simple tips to help you reduce your electricity consumption and slash your bill:

  • Install double switches so you only switch on the lights you need.
  • Change traditional light bulbs for low-energy bulbs as the need arises (for example, when replacing a blown bulb). They give you an energy saving of up to 80% over their useful life and last 8 times longer.
  • Whenever possible, make the most use of natural light. Only turn on lights when you really need to.
  • Do not leave lights on in rooms that you are not using.
  • Halogen lamps provide more light than conventional light bulbs with the same energy consumption. They also last two to three times as long.
  • By using fluorescent tubes in rooms requiring more light for longer periods you can cut energy use by up to 80%. These tubes last between 8 and 10 times longer than conventional incandescent light bulbs. Because they use a lot of energy when they are switched on, don't switch them on and off too often. Leave them on if they are going to be off for less than 20 minutes.
  • If you have outdoor lighting in your garden, control it using a programmer or twilight switch.
  • Use light colours on walls and ceilings to make better use of natural light and reduce artificial lighting.
  • Fitting electronic (not rheostat-type) dimmers will save energy.
  • You can save energy using presence detectors in garages and common areas so the lights switch on automatically.
  • It you adapt lighting to your needs and use spot lighting, you save money and achieve a more comfortable atmosphere.
  • Keep the lamps and lampshades clean and you will increase luminosity without increasing power.

Kitchen: If you follow a number of simple tips while you cook, you can save a lot of energy

Here are some simple tips to help you reduce your energy consumption and slash your bill:

  • Make use of residual heat by switching off the cooker hob 5 minutes before removing the saucepan or frying pan (3 minutes on glass-ceramic hobs).
  • Use saucepans and frying pans whose base is slightly bigger than the hot plate area, and which have heat-diffusing bases (except for induction hobs). You will save 20% of energy when cooking.
  • Whenever possible, use pressure cookers. They consume less energy and save time.
  • Adjust the temperature of the fridge and freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions (one degree centigrade colder means a 5% increase in energy use).
  • Locate the fridge and freezer as far away as possible from heat sources (sunlight, oven, radiators, etc.).
  • Never put hot food in a fridge or freezer. Leaving it to cool first will save energy.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer doors open for the shortest possible time and make sure they close correctly. Make sure that the wall behind the fridge is clean and well ventilated.
  • If you are going to buy a fridge, choose an efficient and green class A+++ or A++ model. They save up to 70% energy compared to conventional fridges.
  • You can save up to 30% of energy use by removing the layer of ice from the freezer before it is 3 millimetres thick.
  • Try not to open the oven unnecessarily. Every time you open the oven you lose up to 20% of its heat.
  • Use the oven timer. It is a very effective way of controlling energy use.
  • You save energy if you make the most of the oven's capacity and cook as much food as possible at once.
  • You do not need to preheat the oven when cooking for longer than one hour. This way you save energy.
  • Switch off the oven just before cooking is completed: the residual heat will be enough to finish the process.
  • Convection ovens distribute the heat evenly, save time and use less energy.
  • Microwave ovens use between 60% and 70% less energy than conventional ovens.
  • Washing-up by hand uses 40% more energy than a dishwasher.
  • Fill your dishwasher to its capacity and choose the most suitable programme.
  • If it is not full, you can do a pre-wash with cold water to make the later main wash easier.
  • Position the dishes in the dishwasher carefully as water needs to flow between them freely.
  • Use the salt and rinse aid levels recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer.
  • If you are going to buy a dishwasher, choose an environmentally-friendly and efficient class A+++ model, that can save you up to 45% energy compared to a class D one.

Electrical appliances: With small gestures you can also save a lot of energy

Here are some simple tips to help you reduce your energy consumption and slash your bill:

  • When you switch on the washing machine, use programmes at moderate temperature, since 90% of the energy is used to heat the water. A wash at 30ºC instead of 60ºC cuts energy use by half.
  • If you fill your washing machine and dryer to their maximum capacity, you reduce energy consumption and extend the electrical appliance's useful life.
  • If you are going to buy a washing machine, choose an environmentally-friendly and efficient class A model that can save you up to 45% energy compared to a class D one.
  • A spin speed of 1,200 rpm instead of 700 rpm will cut the amount of energy your tumble dryer uses by 20%.
  • To save energy, choose computers and printers fitted with energy-saving systems.
  • Switch on the washing machine and dishwasher when they are full.
  • Thermo-efficient washing machines reduce the washing time by 25% and save energy.
  • Washing machines with half-load programmes reduce energy consumption considerably.
  • Washing machines equipped with a water probe, which measures how dirty the water is and changes it only when necessary, cut water and energy consumption.
  • Use the sun's heat to dry the laundry and save energy.
  • Use a descaler and clean the washing machine filter regularly to save energy.
  • If you have signed up for the time-of-day rate, switch on the washing machine during discount hours.
  • Use the iron's heat to iron large amounts of clothes at once and save energy.
  • Optimize the use of your electrical household appliances. For example, if you use a two-slot toaster, always toast two slices of bread.
  • To save energy, completely switch off the television sets and other equipment when they are not going to be used for more than 30 minutes. Computer equipment in low-energy mode will use at the most 15% of normal consumption.
  • You will save energy if you switch off the computer screen when you are not going to use it for an extended period of time.
  • LCD screens save 37% energy in operation, and 40% in standby mode.
  • The screensaver that less energy uses is the black colour.
  • Use adaptors with multiple connectors and a switch; when you switch off the adaptor you save energy.
  • Proper maintenance and cleaning of electrical household appliances extends their useful life and saves energy.

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