When staying in a cabin, if you’re relying on a generator or solar power for electricity you’re probably already aware that little things can make a huge difference to how much electricity you have.
Switching off lights when you’re not using them or using appliances quicker is one thing. but where the real savings come in is using appliances that require a lot less electricity to operate, or finding non-electric alternatives that are just as good.
If this is something you’ve been trying to find a balance with this article is going to come in handy for you.
So, how to reduce the amount of electricity used in a cabin? The best way to reduce the amount of electricity you’re using in your cabin is to use non-electric or high-efficiency appliances wherever possible.
Here are some tips and some of the areas to look at first to swap those electrical items over to something more efficient:
How to Reduce the Amount of Electricity Use in a Cabin: 6 Actionable Tips That Will Make a Difference
Make Sure You’re Using Led Bulbs
LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than halogen or incandescent bulbs producing the same level of brightness. That’s a huge difference, and a lot less electric required to power them.
While we’re on the topic of light, ideally you have plenty of natural light coming through windows and skylights. You can’t beat natural light, especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere and this and there’s less pollution in the sky.
But when it’s late and darkness is drawing in and you have no other option than to turn some lights on, make sure they are LEDs.
Use a Wood Burner to Heat Your Cabin
For me, one of the best things about staying in a cabin is the heat, look, feel, smell, and everything else about a natural wood burner. I just love relaxing and hearing in the crackling of wood burning on the fire.
So, I hope you either already have a wood stove in your cabin or you’re thinking about getting one put in. Because an electric heater is not a suitable alternative.
Even a small space heater capable of heating maybe one room uses around 1,500 Watts. That’s a lot of electric just to stay warm, especially when a wood burner is a much better alternative.
Don’t Leave Any Appliances ‘On Standby’
A lot of appliances have a standby mode, even if it’s not visible like it is with a TV and a little red light, if you leave an appliance plugged in and switched on at the socket it might be sapping some electric.
Personally, I don’t leave any appliances plugged in at all when I’m staying at my cabin. As a general rule, if you are able to switch appliances off at the socket, do so. if not, it’s a good idea to just unplug everything as I do.
Sorry, Air Conditioners Are Not a Good Idea
Air conditioners are well known for sucking a huge amount of electricity. If you have one at home and have checked your bills or have a digital electrical meter showing electric usage you will know this all too well.
A rough estimate would be that an air conditioner with the compressor running uses around 3,500 Watts. In comparison, a large ceiling fan which are often in cabins and I think look great, typically use just 75 Watts.
That’s one of the main reasons my cabins used to always be built with large ceiling fans, they are very economical. But modern demands mean that air conditioning units are much more commonly found in cabins now.
My advice is to use the ceiling fan if you have one. Or at least get a small portable fan. I don’t doubt but the temperature is not going to be as comfortable in your cabin, but it’s what you are going to have to do if you want to save electric.
Energy Efficient Fridges, Freezers, and Other Kitchen Appliances
The kitchen is where most electric is used, and the place where some appliances need to be on 24/7.
Fridges and freezers, in particular, use a lot of electric. If you absolutely need to have a fridge and a freezer in your cabin, which I’m sure most people do, I have a couple of tips to help.
Firstly, get by with the smallest fridge and freezer you can possibly do with. The size of these appliances has a huge impact on how much electric they need to operate.
Secondly, take note of the energy rating that’s been given to the appliance. Kitchen appliances are giving an energy rating to help us find the most economical options. Both for the better of the environment, and because some of us want to use less electricity.
Cook with Propane, Not Electric
Using a propane powered stove or oven is a lot more efficient than an electric one. Plus, maybe I’m biased, but it’s just a lot better to cook food on a propane stove.
There is a wider range of food you can cook, you have more control over the temperature you’re cooking at, and let’s be honest – it’s just a more authentic outdoors, camping, home-from-home way to cook food.
I’ve covered all the main areas and appliances that typically use the most electricity in a cabin. Whether your goal is to eventually live off-grid, save money, or just be more efficient with the resources you have, if you follow the tips in this article is going to go a long way to get you to your goal.
If you have any other tips for saving electric, or any other power source for that matter that you would like to share with me and the audience please leave a comment below. Thanks.