Home Improvement

5 Ways to Lower Your Electricity Bill

Choosing the right air conditioner can help you

Original Article: Amillah S. Rodil Photography: Miguel Nacianceno (Main Photo)

Many can relate when we say there’s no day like payday—after all, who doesn’t love little rewards from time to time? However, we need to face the reality of saving up and paying a couple of bills every month, too. Since all of us would love to see a reduced electricity bill, there are a few ways you can do to make this happen. The secret? Choosing the right appliances and doing minor tweaks at home. Get started with these must-dos:

1. Keep the windows open and let the air flow freely.

If your home has windows, keep them open during daytime to allow air and natural light to stream into the space. Those worried about the heat can work with sheer white curtains—these get the job done while still allowing your space to breathe. As much as possible, avoid depending on air conditioning. Consult with an electrician to see if you can install ceiling fans (to help air circulate).

RL Tip: Those building a new house can consult with the architect about the possibility of having passive cooling as part of the design.

2. Replace an old AC unit.

Those who've kept the same unit for years may want to consider replacing it with a new one. New models have different features that can help you save up to 50 percent power. When sourcing for the right piece, be on the lookout for stickers that give an estimate of how much power it consumes. Feel free to ask store attendants about the advantages of each, too.

3. Know where to place your air conditioner and find the right size for your space.

Is the item you're eyeing a perfect fit for the living area or bedroom? Keep in mind that a wrong size causes inefficiency and wasted energy. Determine the size of the room where you intend to place the unit and ask the attendant for recommendations.

Proper placement of AC units can also help you lower the electricity bill. Is it okay to place it above the door? How about below a window? Click here for tips.

4. Unplug the appliances when these are not in use.

A common misconception among homeowners is that appliances do not consume power when turned off. Notice the red or blue dots that you see in TV sets and movie players? That's a sign that it's still consuming electricity. There are items that consume one to 10 watts when on standby mode. As much as possible, unplug your appliances—especially if you'll be out for a long time.

5. Shop for appliances wisely.

Just like how you choose furniture and accessories—you need to be smart when it comes to finalizing your appliances at home. Don't decide on form and aesthetics alone! Ask questions, do your research, and collect and read flyers. When you visit appliance centers, the appliances usually have yellow stickers on them detailing the Energy Efficiency Factor (EEF) of each. Keep in mind that the higher EEF, the better. Make a shortlist of the appliances your eyeing then make a list of pros and cons before making a final decision. 

This snippet originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Edits have been made by the editors. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

PHOTOS: Miguel Nacianceno (Main and 1) | Vincent Coscolluela

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