RETIRED gran-of-three Melinda Gaunt had no idea that an energy guzzling appliance hidden away in her basement was driving her energy bill up by £550.
The 64-year-old, from Northwich, who lives with her husband David, 73, discovered her dehumidifier was costing them a small fortune to run each year.
They started thinking about ways of cutting down their energy bill in May, as they were concerned about reports of costs soaring later in the year.
They read on a local community Facebook group page they are part of that dehumidifiers are among a list of energy guzzling appliances that could be driving up your bills.
They decided to use a smart plug – which measures how much energy individual appliances use – to see if theirs was costing them more than they thought.
They cost around £15 and act like a second plug – you slot it into your socket, and then plug your appliance into it.
They left it in over a week and couldn’t believe the results – it was costing them £1.50 every day.
“We were both quite shocked at how much it was costing us,” Melinda said.
“We have a basement room which seemed to be constantly smelling musty, so we bought a dehumidifier.
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“It’s been constantly running all the time for more than three years – but I just never thought of the cost of it.”
As they left it running round the clock, over the year she was spending £547.50.
Now, Melinda has switched it off and only runs it when she really needs to.
“We’re relieved at the savings we’re making – £550 is a lot of money.
“It never occurred to me to go down and switch it off – I didn’t think it would be that expensive.
“Check your appliances, because if you’re leaving something on all the time, or on standby, its still using a lot of money over the year – a few pence a day soon adds up.”
How else can you slash costs around the house?
Tumble dryers are one of the biggest energy guzzlers, costing around £1.27 per cycle, according to Uswitch.
Turn it off at the switch and use a clothes horse instead to dry your clothes for free.
Turning your thermostat down just one degree can save you £100, the Energy Saving Trust says.
While properly draught proofing your house can save £45 a year – you can use old socks and towels to put up against your door.
Checking your boiler settings could save you £95 a year – switch off the “comfort” mode and turn the flow temperature down.
Doing those simple tweaks has saved one reader £100 a year.