Tips to bring down your utility bills

The rise in temperature indicates that summer is fast approaching, and that means air conditioners work overtime especially here in the UAE where the heat is unyielding. There are ways to keep it to a minimum, if you know the basic factors affecting your electricity and water bill.

Space
By
Cleo Pimentel Capili
March 21, 2018

The rise in temperature indicates that summer is fast approaching, and that means air conditioners work overtime especially here in the UAE where the heat is unyielding. There are ways to keep it to a minimum, if you know the basic factors affecting your electricity and water bill.

The best way is to get smart using your home appliances. The scorching heat, this season, does not have to increase your utility bills. Here are simple measures to cut your demand, so you can pay less for power.

Slay the suckers
Households have no idea how many gadgets consume power 24 hours a day. Devices such as television, computer, coffee maker, water dispenser, and even chargers quietly run up your energy bills. If unplugging is a hassle, consider buying a strip that automatically cuts power when you switch it off.

Adjust the thermostat
Program your thermostat at a steady 24 degrees to save you 10 to 15 per cent of energy. Keep the fan in automatic mode to cut back on air conditioning power. If you spend most of your hours outside, it is best to shut off the AC.

Invest in blackout drapes
Close the blinds and use blackout curtains on windows hit by direct sunlight. Install neutral-coloured ones in other parts to reduce heat gain from the harsh temperature outside.

Close doors and open vents
The rule is to close vents in unused rooms and keep them open where air conditioning is necessary to allow the unit to efficiently cool your home. Central air conditioning units use the same amount of electricity regardless of any closed vents.

Use energy efficient electric fans
Unlike air conditioning units, electric fans use less energy, so it is a good backup. Point fans in one direction to keep the air around you up to five degrees cooler, and make sure to turn it off after use.

Get smart with LED light bulbs
Instead of the regular incandescent bulbs, install LED light bulbs, which use 90 per cent less power. These types generate less heat and could last up to 25 times longer than compact florescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Flick off the switch when you are not in the room.

Run cold water in washing machine
Do you know that a typical family of four may use up to 100 gallons of heated water for their daily household needs? That is 14 per cent of your total power bill. Use cold water in washing machines and dishwashers apart from your regular showers this summer.

Fix meals quick
Cook on the stovetop and avoid baking in the oven during peak hours of the day. The slow cooker is your best friend for soups and stews. If you need to reheat food from the fridge, just use the microwave.

Go traditional and wireless
Take a moment away from the wide web and get in touch with the real world. Get those board games and spend quality time with friends and family. Unwind and recharge your own batteries, too. Get some time out and make use of the top-notch recreational spots and climate-controlled amusement centres in the UAE, then you can save some power of your own.