When you’re trying to reduce your energy usage to save money and cut down on your carbon footprint, it’s easy to forget about the small things that can add up over time. Whether you live alone or with a family, chores are an unavoidable part of home life. Luckily they don’t have to be expensive—with a few tweaks, they can be completed in an energy-efficient way!

The first step is to avoid using energy during peak times as much as possible. Peak time is generally from 3 pm-10 pm, off-peak is from 10 pm-7 am and the shoulder period is generally from 7 am-3 pm. Here are seven additional ways to make your chores more efficient:

Do Your Chores During The Day

To reduce your energy usage, complete as many of your chores during the day as you can. It’s always nice to get things done early and before dinner, so you can put your feet up after dinner and relax. If you do your chores at night not only are you taking away from Netflix but you are going to need more lights on which will increase your bill. Lights use more electricity than any other appliance in the home except for refrigerators and air conditioners, so remember to use fewer lights and turn them off when you’re not using them.

Swap Out Your Steam Mop 

Steam mops are fantastic at disinfecting your floors but they are much more expensive to run than your traditional mop and bucket. Steam mops use energy to use water to clean floors and carpets, and although it sounds like a win-win situation, you’re losing more than you gain from this method of cleaning.

Let’s look at this a bit deeper. On average, steam mops use about 2 cups of water per minute while in operation. This means that if you’re going to clean your house every week with a steam mop, then not only will your energy bill go up but so will your water bill. If you’re looking to reduce your energy usage, put the steam mop away and return to the good old-fashioned mop and bucket powered by elbow grease.

Use An Energy-Efficient Dishwasher

Technology has come a long way and gifted us with some fantastic energy-efficient appliances. To save on your water and electricity bills, use an energy-efficient dishwasher and know how to use it properly.

First, set your timer for 10 pm if you have the ability to do so. Second, use an energy-efficient cycle instead of a fast one; they take longer but get better results in terms of cleanliness as well as energy reduction.

Dry Your Clothes Outside

Brisbane is blessed with sunny warm weather nearly year-round so let’s take advantage of this and ditch the dryer! Not only will you reduce your energy usage but you will also save money and help to save the environment.

It’s a great use of natural resources to dry clothes outside in the sun as well as it is better for your clothing. Drying your clothes in the sun reduces the chance of your clothes shrinking as well as it disinfects naturally.

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

Cold water can often get a bad rap. We often wash our dishes and our clothes in hot water but did you know that cold water does just as good of a job?

If you don’t already have a solar hot water system, cold water is better for the environment as it uses less energy than hot water and saves you money on your energy bill. You’re not just saving energy and money by washing your clothes in colder temperatures—you’re also helping prevent damage to your clothing while they’re being cleaned and dried. Hot water can shorten the lifespan of many kinds of fabrics, especially delicate ones like cashmere or silk. Partner this with drying your clothes outside and your favourite pair of shorts will last you many years to come.

Use Your Dishwasher Only When Full

You may think that washing your dishes by hand is the most energy-efficient way to clean up after dinner, but that isn’t correct. However, if you’re only loading a few plates and glasses into the dishwasher, they won’t be cleaned properly. This will lead to more frequent dishwasher use and higher bills for electricity or gas—and who wants that? So our hot tip: only run the dishwasher when it is full!

Cook Smarter in the Kitchen

Cooking in batches is an excellent way to reduce your energy usage. If you’re preparing a dish that can be made in a larger quantity, do it all at once. This way, you’ll cook less often and save energy every time you use your stove and oven.

Use slow cookers whenever possible. Slow cookers are energy efficient when compared to boiling water on the stovetop or using the microwave.  Slow cooking offers both convenience (“set it and forget it”) as well as cost savings. Now that’s a win-win situation!

It Doesn’t Take Much To Make a Big Difference

It doesn’t take much to make a noticeable difference that will help save money and the environment. Small changes can add up to big results and the best part about these tips is that they’re not difficult or expensive. Follow these tips to make a difference in your home’s energy efficiency (and thus its impact on climate change).

To summarize, here are some easy things you can do:

  • Use energy-efficient appliances whenever possible.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room or go to bed at night (or even just turn off the power point if they’re not being used). This may seem like an obvious tip, but it really does make an enormous difference in how much electricity we use every day.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of ways you can save money and energy around your house. But if you take it one step at a time, you can make real progress towards reducing your carbon footprint without feeling like too much effort or sacrifice is required. The key is to start small and keep refining your routine as you go along. If you’re looking for additional ways to cost the cost of your electricity usage and bills, consider installing solar panels if you haven’t already done so. We at Solahart South East Brisbane are solar power specialists and will happily guide you in the right direction. Call our friendly team for a no-obligation call.