Among all home appliances, those that produce heat consume the most power. This is why your electrical bill shoots up to the high heavens during the peak of winter. However, there are ways to make maximum use of the heat your appliances give off so that your energy consumption does not need to increase unnecessarily, whether it’s winter or not.

Residual heat—heat given off by an appliance even after you've pulled the plug—is a powerful yet often ignored tool. If you make use of residual heat, you'll be amazed at how much energy, and consequently money, you're able to save.

So how do you make use of residual heat? When you're ironing your clothes, pull the plug just a few minutes before you need to stop using it. The heat coming from the iron is enough to remove the wrinkles from an extra couple of shirts. It’s best if you iron your clothes by the bulk instead of pressing just one outfit every time you go out. Pressing clothes by the bulk lets you unplug the iron every few minutes so you can use up residual heat. In effect, you’ll be pressing a significant portion of your clothes without having to use up electricity for it. The same principle goes with using the stove. Just a few minutes before you finish cooking, especially if the setting is on high heat, turn off the stove and allow the residual heat to finish the job.

Lights Out!

Ever wonder why your electrical bill runs high every month? Couldn't you figure out what's causing it to be like that in the first place? Perhaps you're unknowingly wasting energy on lights. You may not think much about it, but your lights, when they join forces, can rake in the bills if you don't use them wisely.

If you don’t know where to start handling your light usage wisely, start off with making a habit of turning off lights that are not needed and just leaving those that are enough to comfortably illuminate the area you’re in. If you're leaving a room, turn off all the lights even if you're planning to come back after a while. Switching them off and on again isn't that difficult so there’s no reason to be lazy about it.

During the day, open the windows and blinds to let natural sunlight enter your room. At night or during days where sunlight is not that bright, use fluorescent lamps rather than incandescent bulbs, which cost more and don't last as long. Occasionally use candles, particularly when hosting parties and entertaining guests. The soft candlelight is much cheaper than electrical light, and provides a soft natural atmosphere the latter can't give.

If you can’t sleep without a light on, and if you leave it on until you wake up in the morning, use a small nightlight beside your bed instead of leaving on your bedroom’s overhead light. Once you make that switch, you’ll be able to save more money.

Use "task lighting" which is focusing the light only where it's needed instead of trying to illuminate the entire room. This not only saves you money, but it actually adds an alluring touch to your house. Instead of turning on all overhead lights, a spotlight or a lampshade in your living room area provides enough light and just the right touch of glamour.

Since appliances that generate heat cost the most, don’t leave them turned on when they aren’t in use. Leaving them on for a few extra unnecessary minutes may be insignificant if it’s done for one time only, but if you make it a habit out of it, they add up, reflect on your bills, and help you save more money.

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