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by Solar experts

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With the ever growing temperatures and the persistent humidity, ACs have become a necessity today; as have the room heaters with the chilling temperatures of winters.
And while these make living easier, they do increase the cost of living. The ever increasing electricity rates don't help the bills either.
There sure are the green methods to lower the electricity bills, for e.g., LED light sources, the energy efficient appliances, and the latest, solar power; and then there are also some easy tricks and minor adjustments in the way we use our appliances which can help cut down the energy costs. These don't require an immediate big change or investment, and yet help cut down on the costs.

Air Conditioners: Ensuring properly clean and dust/blockage free vents ensure better cooling n lesser power consumption.

Washing Machines: Ideally, the machine can be packed with as many clothes as can fit in, but practically, that is not advisable. Especially if the drier has to be used later.
The drier seems to work better with about 20-25% lesser load. That ensures better cleaning/drying, and no over-loading of the machine too.

As far as possible, washing the clothes in cold water reduces the power requirements. Heating the water in the machine, tends to use the maximum energy.
Washing with cold water also has the advantage of lesser probability of colour running off of the clothes.

Computers and TV set: Always powered on computers, TVs, music systems and phone chargers contribute a lot of unaccounted units in the bills. Ensuring to switch them off when not in use, definitely cuts down at least a small portion of the bill.
o Setting sleep mode and hibernate, to reduce the power consumption during inactive periods, is also a great help.
o Screensavers, as beautiful as they look, unlike the general perception, don't save energy, instead, they use more. Setting off the monitor after a few minutes of being idle, is a wiser choice with respect to power saving.

Unplug: Though we don't realise it, but unplugging the devices that are seldom used, can actually save us a bit.

Ovens: Peeking inside the oven frequently, lets out the heat, causing more power consumption for the same amount of cooking.

Dishwashers: By the same logic as washing machine, turning down the heat to minimum required would help save some energy consumption.
Also stacking up the dishwasher efficiently increases the efficiency, and reduces the power consumption for reruns.

Pradeep Prakash Singhal

Pradeep Prakash is a solar enthusiast/ solar professional by heart. He has been involved in setting up distributed solar at more than 100 sites across India