Homeowners in Singapore have countless expenses to keep track of. Fortunately, making these small changes can result in large savings.
Little things have a way of adding up, especially when you’re you're a homeowner. Despite your best efforts, expenses just seem to keep mounting, making you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.
Fortunately, small savings can add up too. By making just a few changes, Singaporean homeowners can save money on utilities, appliances and daily household bills.
Individually, the benefits may seem insignificant. But keep at it and you may find your household budget getting healthier month by month. Follow these tips to save money around the house.
Install A Ceiling Fan
Install a ceiling fan in your living room, and don’t be afraid to use it.
The goal isn’t to whip up gale-force winds in your home. Instead, you want to keep the air circulating, (and the windows and doors open) to help chase out the oppressive heat of our lovely little tropical island.
And when you have guests over, keeping the ceiling fan on will help you cool the room without needing to keep the aircon on full blast.
Try cooling the living room by cranking up the aircon before all your guests arrive. When sufficiently comfortable, switch to a lower setting, then switch on the fan to help keep everyone cool.
Power vampirism is a very real nuisance plaguing our modern electronic lifestyle. When plugged in, appliances and devices have been shown to keep draining a trickle of power, even when they have been shut off.
Our incessant clamour for instant gratification is perhaps partly to blame. To avoid complaints of sluggishness, modern day devices never really turn completely off, instead entering sleep mode most of the time.
To make sure your TV, stereo, Playstation and other electronics aren’t draining away power all through the night, get your contractor to link everything up to one master switch. That way, you only need to unplug one socket before you go to sleep every night.
Clean Your Filters
This one bears repeating because it’s so easy to overlook. Clean your filters regularly, lest your energy costs go up.
The largest culprit of wasted electricity and an inflated utilities bill is the air conditioner. When dirt builds up on the filters, less air is drawn across the cooling coils, which results in less cool air being blown into the room.
This means your aircon compressor has to work harder and longer to reach or maintain the desired temperature. And you’ll probably be pecking away at the controller, wondering why you’re sweating away in the middle of the night.
Another often overlooked household appliance that needs the same treatment is the dryer. Lint buildup on your dryer’s filter not only reduces its drying capacity (which makes you run the machine longer), it’s also a fire hazard.
Whether for your aircon or your dryer, most filters can be easily cleaned in the shower with warm water and a reasonably strong showerhead.
Simmer Odours Away
After a particularly heavy cooking session, it can become necessary to freshen up the house. You may be tempted to buy scented candles, air fresheners, or potpourri in an attempt to deal with the problem.
The problem with candles, air fresheners and potpourri is that they tend to be full chemicals. You often wind up with artificial, cloying smells that can give you a literal headache. The good quality ones may not have this problem, but you’ll have to pay through the nose for them.
You can save your money, as there’s a good chance your kitchen has everything you need to remove the odours.
Get a pot and boil some water, then simmer cinnamon, orange or lemon peel and empty vanilla pods (or a few drops of essence). The scents from these delicious ingredients will chase away cooking odours, replacing them with a lovely fragrance that wafts throughout the house.
Combine Your Cleaners
Take a peek at the cleaning supplies aisle and you will be confronted by a bewildering array of sprays, gels and scrubs. For every surface in your kitchen and bathroom, you can probably find no fewer than 3 specialised cleaners.
But the question is, do you really need that many cleaners, especially since some of them can cost a pretty penny?
The answer is no. Some experts say you only need a few basic cleaners, as most have the same formulation and will do the job just as well. Sometimes, the best cleaner for the job may not even be the ones marketed specifically for it!
The next time you go shopping for household cleaners, buy just the basics. Going with all-purpose cleaners is a good bet. But to be doubly sure, remember to test your cleaner in an inconspicuous spot to see if it causes staining or other undesired effects.
Use Tinting For Savings
If you find your home too warm for your liking, you might want to invest in some window tinting.
BTOs nowadays come with tinted windows, but depending on your particular unit, the default tinting may not provide adequate relief from the heat.
So if you find yourself panting heavily with your tongue hanging out within minutes of stepping into your home, don’t shy away from installing your own tinting.
Not only will you come home to a more comfortable house, but you will also save on your power bill. That’s because by keeping heat out, you won’t have to blast the aircon as hard to cool your apartment.
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By Alevin Chan
A Certified Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin's mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He's also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.