When renovating and furnishing new homes, many new homeowners opt for pretty and aesthetic appliances and don’t necessarily take into consideration what is the most energy efficient. Trying to save money on cheaper appliances does not translate into bill savings either as these home appliances might consume more energy and have higher operating costs.
Renovating your house in a way that reduces energy use and buying home appliances that are energy efficient helps to generate lower utility bills and saves you a lot more money in the long run. However, with so many products in the market, it’s difficult to know what to buy, where to buy and how much you should be paying for a specific appliance.
Here are some tips and buying hacks to creating an energy efficient home that saves money both now and in the future!
1) Designing an energy efficient home
The first part to saving on your electricity bill begins with your house renovation!
To keep your house cool and bright, opt for light-coloured walls that are more efficient at reflecting heat and use curtains or blinds to keep the heat from sun rays out. Install ceiling fans that are more effective than standing fans and will help to save on air-conditioning as well. Hacking down unnecessary walls and avoiding obstructing pathways with large furniture will also improve the ventilation in your house.
2) Know your energy labels and the amount of savings you can get
While energy-efficient appliances tend to be more expensive than their opposites, opting for these appliances will help you save more money in the long run.
When you’re shopping for appliances, look out for the Energy Label, especially for energy intensive appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators.
The presence of the Energy Label proves that the appliance has passed the minimum energy performance standards and has been issued with a Certificate of Registration.
Choosing between a 2-tick model and a 5-tick air-conditioner can be the difference of over $1000. However, it’s estimated that a 2-tick model might actually cost you more than $270 per year in electricity bills as compared to a 5-tick model.
Other things to take into consideration include the size of your room, to ensure that your air-conditioner is operating at the most efficient capacity, as well as the life cycle cost of your air-conditioner. The life cycle cost of your air-conditioner is the sum of the purchase price and estimated electricity cost over a 7 years lifespan.
The same for refrigerators, it’s important to look out for the number of ticks. A 1-tick refrigerators is estimated to cost you $75 more in electricity bills per year, compared to a 3-tick model. Calculate the life cycle cost to determine which model will work best for the amount of household usage.
Also consider your needs when buying a refrigerator. A large refrigerator with an in-built ice-maker might seem cool but uses more energy to operate.
For water heaters there are 5 main types of systems that are more energy efficient than the typical storage water heater – the instantaneous water heater, the gas water heater, the electric pump water heater and the solar thermal water heater. Choose the option that suits your housing type, budget and usage.
Opt for front-loading washing machines over top-loading washing machines as the former uses less water for every load. However, there are energy efficient top-load washing machines so remember to check the energy label before purchasing!
If possible, place your lights and lamps in the corners of rooms so that they can reflect off the walls to provide more illumination. You can also try “task lighting” which means setting up lighting directed at a specific work area like reading lamps. For all your lights, remember to use LED bulbs which use 85% less electricity and last 20 times longer than ordinary bulbs.
3) Save more when you shop online
It always pays to do your research and sometimes going online is the best way to get all the information you need and enjoy the greatest savings.
When you shop at brick and mortar stores, the salespeople are not always privy to your household’s needs and level of usage. Hence they might try to push products that are not necessarily the most suitable and efficient for you.
Many online stores, such as Courts, list out the specifications and energy usages clearly on the website and have product comparison features so you can compare which products are the best for your needs and budget.
Other than Courts, many online stores such as Lazada and Hachi.tech (by Challenger) offer low interest installment plans, bundle deals, special voucher codes, credit card deals and even free delivery when you shop online. Furthermore, shop from these stores through ShopBack and you can earn up to 30% cashback on top of any discount codes.
Make more efficient choices right from the get-go, once you get your house keys. Just investing a little bit more in the beginning can reward you with a lot more savings in the years to come. Now that we have the internet at our fingertips, we can enjoy even more savings and convenience.
This article is brought to you by ShopBack Singapore. ShopBack Singapore is the top cashback site in Southeast Asia, providing cashback, voucher codes and credit card comparisons for over 1,300 online stores and partners. Enjoy additional savings when you shop for your furniture and home appliances from stores such as Taobao, Lazada, Courts and more!”