If you’ve just received your power bill, you’re probably freakin’ out right now.
The cost of power keeps increasing and after a few months of hot hot weather, we’re all in for a pretty hefty bill.
But there are a few easy things you can do to cut down the amount of energy you’re using, so you can spend that hard earned moolah on something a little more fun.
Here are five steps you can take to reduce your power bill:
Choose your appliances wisely.
Some household appliances chew through your power a lot faster than others. Washing machines and dryers are the biggest (and most obvious) culprits—Money Smart recommends only washing full loads and air drying as much as you can.
Smaller appliances such as dishwashers, irons, microwaves and vacuum cleaners are surprisingly hungry too and Sumo Power says they make up as much as 15% of your power bill.
Obviously, you need to use these appliances to get through daily life, but you can cut down your power bills by only turning them on when you really need them and switching them off at the wall when you're finished with them.
Turn things off at the wall.
When you turn off your TV, shut down your laptop and switch off your lights, they go on standby mode unless you actively turn them off at the power source. Those appliances sitting in standby mode all day are actually slowly chewing through your power—so it pays to go around the house switching off wall sockets as often as you can. Even if it makes you look a little anal retentive.
Try everything else before you switch the a/c on.
On these hot days, it's tempting to switch your air conditioner on and leave it running all day. But cooling can really chew up your power.
One simple step is to make sure your fans are working their hardest: Set your ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise, to pull hot air up and out and point your box fans so that they push heat out of your house.
Switch off your lights.
They might seem inconsequential but lights can suck up a lot of power. You can save money by switching off your lights and relying on natural light during the day and using lamps to create some mood lighting at night. You can also replace your regular light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
Need even more ideas? We've got them rounded up in our video here.
This post originally appeared on Mamamia, Spring.St's Australian sister site. You can read it here.