Modern conveniences and handy household appliances make fast work of many household cleaning tasks, but sometimes, a bit of elbow grease will cut down your electricity bill and give you a great workout too.
Here's a few quick changes to consider:
1) Switch the vacuum for a broom. If you have wooden or tiled floors, rather than using the vacuum every time you clean, consider switching to a broom more often. Using a broom also helps you to get into all the nooks and crannies that a vacuum sometimes misses.
Photo: Arpingstone, Wikipedia
2) Ditch the dryer Living in Australia, I'm always surprised to hear that people still use clothes dryers which rate as one of the most expensive and energy consuming appliances. More than that, they are somewhat superfluous when you can dry your clothes outside in the fresh air. When it rains, which it does throughout our Winter, I just wait until a sunny day (which comes round quickly enough), to do my laundry. According to Origin Energy, using a clothes dryer twice a week will cost you over $115 a year, a cost you can say goodbye to, if you switched to the power of the sun.
3) Swap the steam mop Save the steam mop for when you're doing a really thorough clean , and at all other times, just use a regular mop.
4) Carpet sweeping An old school option, but still a great way to clean carpets without switching on the power. Every now and then you'll need your vacuum for a more thorough clean, but for intermittent cleaning, getting the carpet sweeper out saves on electricity and still gives a pretty good clean in the meantime.
Photo: Colin, Wikipedia
5) Reduce your ironing Ok, I'll admit it, I loathe ironing, so part of this guidance comes from a place of deep rooted hatred for the ironing pile. If you want to save money, or simply see your ironing pile diminish, then consider these ways of reducing the need to iron:
Hang washing out the moment that it has finished in the machine, to reduce wrinkles in your clothes.
Hang shirts and tops on the line on hangers or where folds naturally form. This too will reduce the amount of wrinkles in your clothing.
Shop sensibly and seek out clothing and bedding that is non iron or easy iron; this will reduce your ironing time as many items can simply go from your washing line to your wardrobe.
If you have to still have to iron your clothing, then avoid using the steam function (consumes more electricity) and ensure the heat setting is appropriately set. If you're ironing delicate fabrics, then just use the iron once it is switched off as irons stay hot for some time after use.
Hanging clothes can help reduce crinkles
6) Laundry Loading
Photo: NativeForeigner, Wikipedia
Washing clothes is an inevitable part of life, however, there are a few tricks to being energy efficient whilst you do your laundry:
Ensure that you do whole laundry loads and save up your laundry if you don't have enough to warrant switching the machine on.
Read your machine manual to ensure you understand how to use any eco or water efficient settings.
If you have a top loader washing machine, consider switching to a front loading machine next time you replace your machine as a front loader is more energy and water efficient.
7) Moderate your hose pipe use Hose pipes are often used for outdoor cleaning, but frivolous usage will lead to water wastage and higher bills. To make sure that you are using your hose efficiently, ensure that you have a hose nozzle attached that allows you to turn off the water spray when you are not using it. A further hint, is if you are using your hose to clear debris or cobwebs from your outdoor area, consider using elbow grease and a hard bristle broom first, and finish with the hose afterwards to avoid unnecessary water use.
What tips do you have for energy saving on household chores?