Let’s face it, when you have smaller children in your home, it can be a challenge to maintain and improve your energy efficiency. But, this doesn’t have to be the case, it is possible to teach kids about making energy savings and they will enjoy being part of the solution. When a family works together on any project it can be rewarding and this can apply to running your home appliances efficiently. In this article, we will look at four strategies that will encourage your kids to think about energy efficiency.
1. Adopt a Monthly Reward System
The reward system can work well for a wide variety of activities and this applies to energy efficiency too. Providing positive reinforcement for good behavior can help to protect your appliances and improve your energy efficiency. For the best results, customize the rewards and make them appropriate for your child’s age and interests. Show your kids the energy bill for the same month last year and offer half that amount in rewards if the energy bill is lower this year. Track the progress of the bills over the year and see how often the family can get those extra rewards. This is a great way to build a sense of responsibility and a real world way to use math skills too.
2. Reducing Standby Times
One of the lesser understood aspects of a home energy bill is the energy that’s wasted on standby mode. An appliance that is powered when it’s not even in use can use a lot of power over the course of an entire year. The only way to prevent this is to turn off and unplug appliances that are not in use. Of course, there are certain appliances such as refrigerators and freezers that must be kept on at all times. But, you can easily turn off the coffee machine, toaster oven, computers and other devices. It’s easy to make this activity into a game, sharp eyed kids will be happy to turn off designated devices to help out the family and earn a reward.
3. Changing Filters
This is probably a task better suited to older kids and teens, but if you change your filters regularly, it can improve energy efficiency dramatically. The most obvious example would the air conditioner filter, which should be replaced every 4-6 weeks during the summer months. More frequent changes may be required if you have pets living in the home. Maintaining airflow is crucial for these appliances and filter clogs can overwork heating and cooling equipment. The full instructions for filter changes are in the owner’s manual and your child can follow a reminder that you set up on their phone. This is a great way to demonstrate trust and build a sense of responsibility in your kids.
4. Defrosting the Freezer and Refrigerator
When the freezer and/or refrigerator is overflowing with ice it can be a considerable energy drain for your home. In fact, the more ice you have the more energy it will consume and it can be hard to maintain the temperature at a consistent level. Defrosting on a regular basis is important, start by scraping the ice manually with a special scraper or use a steam cleaner instead. Your kids should have some old towels on hand for mopping duties and defrosting as a family team makes the process even easier.
One of the best ways to improve your energy efficiency at home is to invest in high-efficiency appliances. If you’re considering an upgrade, explore our appliances or speak to one of our appliance specialists for expert advice and guidance.