Cooperation / Practical tips for energy savings

Practical tips for energy savings at home    


Due to the constant increase of the energy pricewe more often deny ourselves basic life necessities in order to meet our energy needs. Most of the residential buildings are old, without insulation, and are heated with outdated and energy consuming devices.

Due to continuously rising global energy demand, the natural resources will run out in several decades. On the other side, this growth in consumption causes huge damage to the environment and human health resulting from the combustion processes and release of various harmful gas emissions and substances in the atmosphere.

 Energy efficiency means full use of the energy, resulting from the application of energy saving measures, where investments are fully paid back for a short time.

 Energy saving is accompanied by the realization of economical and ecological benefits.

 If we do not burn excessive quantities of oil, coal or wood, if we drive less cars and more bicycles, if we use RES, then less the harmful gases in the atmosphere will be emitted, the greenhouse effect, causing global warming will be limited, hence the global warming will be impeded too. The pollution and the destruction of huge territories of our planet will be stopped.

The solution of these issues could be found also in the wider use of the energy from renewable sources – sun, wind, water, geothermal energy and biomass.

Before that, however, we should look at what we can do ourselves in order to reduce our energy expenses. To apply measures that will improve the effectiveness of energy use in our home means to improve the energy efficiency.

Energy saving will help us improve the comfort in our homes, to save money, to conserve energy resources and to protect the environment for our children.

We must change our own behavior, to get used to the idea that there is no cheap energy and that small changes can result in great effect. There are many was and it is a matter of your choice.

Below we present some of the ways to save energy. You can invent even more as long as you want and you are creative and practical, thus being helpful both to yourselves and to the nature.

 Tips for heating

 The window frames

 Replace widely used wooden glued window frames with new ones, with glazing with a thermal break with wooden, plastic or aluminum frame. If you cannot afford this investment, seal the joints of the windows and make a “lay” on the glazing, put doorsteps which will raise the room temperatures with 1-3˚C and will help you save 6-7% energy.

Thethermal insulation

If you live on the top floor and there is an attic above, put insulation on the floor of the attic and you will prevent the loss of heating through the roof.If you are heating a garret, put insulation on the roof.If you live on the first floor, put insulation on the floor, or on the ceiling of the basement. When you make an interior reconstruction or repair, you shall put insulation on the walls to the staircase and the elevator shaft. The outer walls of the building are the easiest to insulate. The application of insulation as an energy efficiency measure is more expensive, the pay-back period is longer, but it is worth the comfort at home and the decreased heating bills.

 The blinds

Mount shutters – these offer comfort not only in the summer, but also during the cold winter days.

 The radiators

Remove the radiator grilles– these stop about 30% of the thermal energy of the heating devices. Avoid placing radiators in niches – the heat losses through a thin wall are significant, additionally, the thermal circulation gets worse. Do not cover the radiators with thick window curtains – these hamper the heat to spread within the room and you lose more than 10% of the energy.

Place a heat reflecting foil (screen) behind the radiators - this measure is not expensive and saves about 3% of the thermal energy. If you use central heating - mount thermostatic radiator valves. This leads to 10% savings of thermal energy. By mounting a thermostatic radiator valve and sticking a heat-reflecting screen behind the radiator you will save between 13%–27% heat.

 The pipelines

Check the insulation of the pipelines and repair it, if damaged. Remove the leaks in the heating system.

 The heating appliances

If you use electricity for heating, use accumulating stove, making benefit from the night tariff of the electricity.

Use heating appliances with programming control of switch off. These stop the appliances following the mode you have set.

Place the heating appliances under the windows – this would contribute to about 5% saving of the energy.

The ventilation

Do not leave windows slightly open for a long time. Thus the walls cool down and then you need more energy for heating the room. Ventilate the premises periodicall by opening the windows widely, thus speeding up the heat transfer and the premise does not cool down.

Install automatic closing of the entrance doors.

 Tips for lighting and more…

 Always stop lighting in premises you do not use.

Put lighting switches with a timer in corridors, balconies, closets, locker rooms and staircases.

Instead of conventional incandescent lamps use energy saving lamps, which use three times less electricity than the standard ones and in the same time provide the same or higher level of illumination.

Do not use energy saving bulbs in wet premises and in places with alternating current.

Replace the fluorescent lamps as soon as they start blinking.

Use local, rather than central lighting – over the sink, at the working place or in the bedroom.

Use lamps with lower wattage and possibility for serial connection for multi-jack luminaires.

Place bulbs with wattage not more than 40W in small premises – WC, bathrooms, corridors, balconies.

When refurbishing, paint the walls in bright colours – this will reduce the energy necessary for lighting.

In the adjoining to the buildings lawns (yards) plant trees not farther than 5 metres from the windows; the bushes shouldn’t be higher than 1,5 m. This will allow the solar energy to penetrate easily and will contribute both to lighting and heating the premise.

Keep windows always cleanin order to ensure direct access of light and energy.

 Especially for the cooker

 When cooking use utensils with thick bottoms, which accumulate heat and cool down slowly. Once the dish boils, reduce the power of the hot plate. Turn off the heat 5-10 minutes before the dish is ready. Dishes, prepared slowly are more delicious and save energy.

Preheat the oven to the necessary temperature, and 10 minutes later switch to lower power. Turn off the oven 10 minutes before getting out the dish. Bake in covered fireproof utensils.

Use utensils with flat bottom that adhere tightly to the hot plate. Do not use utensils with bigger or smaller size than the size of the hot plate.

When boiling place the lid to the utensil. The water will boil faster.

Use pressure cookers – the meals are prepared faster and you save 15% of the energy.

Use the microwave, especially when reheating the food.

Tips for electrical appliances

If you can afford this, replace the old and obsoleteappliances with new, energy efficient ones. The new appliances will pay back faster through the energy savings and the repairmen expenses savings. Besides, the new appliances feature a modern design, possibilities for programming of their operations, a variety of colours.

The electrometer

It is strongly advisable to put double tariff electrometer and use rationally the night tariff of the electricity, as its price is considerably lower.

The refrigerator

When buying a fridge, pay attention to its energy class. Buy only refrigerators with energy class A+ or A++, which might reduce the energy consumption more than 50%.

If the fridge is well leveled the consumption of electricity could be significantly decreased.

Adjust the temperature of the fridge to 4–5оС, and for the freezer from –1 to –12оС. Thus you will save up to 3% of the energy used.

Do not place the refrigerator close to radiators, heating appliances or on direct sunlight.

Do not place warm products in the fridge. When open the door of the fridge take out everything you need, in order to avoid frequent switching of the compressor.

Take the products out from the fridgeand leave them warm up to room temperature, and use them after that. Thus you decrease the necessary energy for cooking.

The irons and washing machines

Use steam irons. Thus you save up to 10% of the energy, necessary for ironing with an ordinary iron.

The automatic washing machines are more economic, both in terms of the water they use, and of the electricity.  перални са по-икономични, както по отношение на  необходимата вода, така и по отношение на използваната електроенергия. Insert the maximum weight of clothes according to the instructions and the washing program in order to use them effectively and to save energy.

The boilers

Insulate the boilers and the hot water pipelines with insulating mantle and you will save around 5% of the energy.

Keep the thermoregulator of the boiler in perfect working order and set to a temperature of 50-70оС.

Water saving is also an energy efficient measure!

Mount economic sprinkling shower heads in the bathrooms.

If affordable, mount a solar collector and a hot water installation. Thus you will use hot water for free almost eight months a year.

 Let’s save energy!