A huge chunk of savings gets lost with the electricity bill and it is not something you are not aware of. Running around and switching off lights that your kids leave them burning and asking them to close the door to keep the warmth inside could take a little bit of your sanity but, does not reduce your electricity bill considerably. How to work with this problem?
Start with an energy audit
Many top utility service providers are offering energy audits for homes. This will help you to understand how and where most consumption takes place. Please share this with your kids. If your kid is old enough to switch on lights for playing, he/she is old enough to know about the electricity bill. Talking in a more financial tone might not get the attention of the kid. Connect it with the polar bear and other cute animals running out of places to live.
Does your kid insist on having lights around him, even when it is not necessary? Well, instead of dealing with a grumpy kid for a couple of hours, it would look like a better option to switch that light on. The main area of this problem is the bedroom light. In the fear of a monster under the bed, which does not have the guts to come out when there is light around, your kid would not part with the bedroom light. In such cases, a dimmer switch would do the magic and also reduce your power consumption as much as possible.
The first step is to teach your kid to close the fridge door after opening and decide what they want before opening it. Obviously, our kids would not listen or follow. Thus, the second step is to have a child lock. Do you have an older kid on whom the child lock does not work nor your authoritative commands? It is time to make your food do your job. Keeping your fridge and freezer full all the time could save a considerable amount of money in power. With food packed in, they would act as an insulator in making the compressor to cool the fridge even faster and thus, the amount of time that the compressor works would be less, thereby drawing lesser power.
Have a ceiling fan
Why would I need a ceiling fan when my entire house is air-conditioned? For starters, if your kid wants a colder room even when it is snowing outside, you can keep the air-conditioner at the same level and switch on the fan. The ceiling fan also helps to circulate the air faster, allowing air-conditioner to cool the room faster, thereby power consumption is reduced. If you have an attic, add a fan to it. A fan in the attic would help to push down cool air during summer.
Instead of running around to each room switching off the air conditioning, you can have a ducted air conditioning system. This is a perfect option for those with duplex houses and large areas, where you might have to place three or four air conditioning units. The same goes for light switches too. Many homes now have one master light switch near the front door that can be used to turn off every light. There is no point in asking your kid whether he/she has switched off the light while you are packing them into your car for school. They would lie or they would not remember and then lie. Cut the mess and switch off the master switch. Some homes even have master switches connected to ceiling fans, geysers, entertainment systems and so on.
Tinted glass windows
Tinted glass windows will act as an insulator and avoid heat moving in or out of the house. It is a little cost you have to bear for a considerable reduction in the heater or cooler power chargers. While you are at it, make sure your child hasn’t broken any window glasses leaving a small crack, through which precious cold/hot air has been moving out or in, aiding to your power bills.
USE LED lights
The LED lighting is good for kids studying rooms too. They are easy on their eyes and also for your power bill. They can help you save around 90% of power bills. LED lights are costlier than regular ones. Thus, if desired, just switch LED lights in places where you use the lights very frequently. Moreover, the spread of the light is also better than normal bulbs and thus, you can cover a larger area with a single bulb.
Clean the filters
There is no point in blaming kids if your cooling system takes more time to cool the room. The major reason for it is the filter dust. Make sure to clean the filter at regular intervals. If you have a toddler at home, it is advised to clean it at least once a month.
Remote is not enough
Switching off a TV or entertainment unit’s remote is not enough. Teach your kids to switch off the outlet too. When an electronic system with a timer is plugged in, it would drain power continuously. Yes, it is a very small amount of power but, think about it. It is drawing power 24/7, throughout the year and it is a waste.
You cannot ask your kid to bathe in cold water on a chilly day. Think about the bathing routine. You would add cold water to the extra-hot water from the water heater to make it right for your kid to bathe in. How about reducing the temperature setting in the water heater to get the right amount of hotness that would allow you to use the water directly? This would help to reduce power bills and also you can avoid accidents where your kid opens the hot water faucet and gets extra-hot water sprayed on the body.
There are a lot more options to try to reduce your power bill weight. Use a programmable thermostat, avoid using drying options in the dishwasher, install motion sensor lights, switch to solar lights and so on. The options are enormous and the choice of acting on it is ours.