Energy efficiency at home: keys and tricks to save effortlessly

We all need an Álvaro Navarrete in our homes.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
19 November 2023 Sunday 16:14
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Energy efficiency at home: keys and tricks to save effortlessly

We all need an Álvaro Navarrete in our homes. Someone who, at the slightest gesture that indicates risk of waste, warns us of the expense that would arise and teaches us how to avoid it. Álvaro Navarrete reflects, to a large extent, the philosophy of savings that, without knowing it, our elders already professed. From “finish everything on your plate,” to “turn off the light when you leave.” They knew well what it cost and we today know what it costs the planet. What we often forget is what it means on the bill and that it costs, as they would also say, a kidney.

With your permission, it has emerged today as a kind of guardian angel against energy waste expressed in any of its forms. Because energy - or rather, the abuse of it - lurks in every corner. In devices that spend a good part of the day and night on standby - which, for Navarrete, “are like vampires” -; in the liters of water that escape while we brush our teeth with the tap open; in pots and saucepans that boil without their corresponding lid. Waste awaits around every corner and, with it, perverse effects that are evident where it hurts the most: the bill.

The advice of Navarrete, energy advisor for Naturgy, is the kryptonite capable of dismantling waste and turning it into something as necessary in times of inflation as it is attractive: savings. Hence, his video advice is a success. On TikTok alone it has accumulated more than 85 million views. The secret about him is that there is no secret. Álvaro asks questions that we all ask and answers them without hesitation, with humor and a lot of closeness. Thanks to his videos, such ubiquitous appliances as washing machines, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and dishwashers no longer have secrets from his audience. Navarrete knows them like the back of his hand. Not in vain, he has grown up surrounded by them since he was a child. The family business, dedicated to the replacement of household appliances, is responsible for a vast knowledge that is not reduced to which brand is cheaper.

Navarrete is determined to change the world through what he knows best: household appliances. Hence, his advice shares a common denominator, caring for the planet and, by default, saving families. They are two communicating vessels. Navarrete brings out some figures. If we follow his advice, which we find on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, our bill can go down to 400 euros. “At least that,” he emphasizes.

“With good practices and changing habits a little, it is relatively easy to reduce spending by 20%,” responds Navarrete, invited by Elisenda Camps to the most sustainable house in Europe, located in Sant Andreu de la Barca. Due to its isolation, orientation, airtightness, ventilation, among others, it could well be Navarrete's dream. With the highest double certification in sustainability and energy efficiency - Passivhaus Premium certification (Passivhaus Institut) 5 Green Leaves (Green Building Council Spain), everything in it is designed so that no one has to think about what Navarrete always thinks: consumption, whose Excess leads to spending, and its nemesis, savings.

That is, in essence, its mission and passion: “Helping people through home appliances.” A priori, we might think that a smart home, built to be efficient in all its terms, does not need Navarrete's advice, but nothing could be further from the truth. More is always more. And with savings, too. “The savings are multiplied,” he clarifies. Touring this house serves to remind you to what extent we can save if, for example, a home is thermally well insulated: up to 25%. “If you have an air system managed by home automation, which is also not that expensive, you can save 18%. If we pay attention to the lighting, we immediately go to 12%, 15% or 20%,” she lists.

With relatively little investment, you can adapt your home to a more sustainable environment. Little by little, make living not synonymous with spending. Do it, at the same time, under parameters 100% aligned with the needs of a planet that cries out for a little restraint. Navarrete does it from the place that he knows best and that, at the same time, has allowed him to learn about what matters to families. When customers come to the store, Álvaro takes note of their worries, concerns, and needs. Today he detects all the blind spots of the appliances in our home that the instructions do not always show in an understandable way: from why my washing machine levitates more than a saint, to how I can prevent the refrigerator from freezing.

Everything remains in Navarrete's memory, which he shares with the audience in the form of small videos. His goal is for us to understand each other well with those machines that make our lives easier. To do this, you have to go one step further. Apply some logic, some common sense. True darling, too. Just because it is a machine does not mean that it does not need some other more 'human' consideration. An example: use the economic program. It takes longer, but it will consume less. “Not only that, but the device will live longer because, precisely, it ‘works’ more calmly,” shares Navarrete.

Another tip: fill the washing machine. “The more it is filled, the cheaper the kilo of clothing is and the more the liter of water is used,” she remembers. And the last: wash with cold programs. “We usually don't get our clothes very dirty. Between 30 and 40 degrees is more than enough. We save energy and make a better world,” emphasizes Álvaro. Letting ourselves be defeated by the barrage of climate threats that loom over the planet is not an option. “I try to worry about what depends on me. Focus on what one can change,” he clarifies.

Where Navarrete does not reach, more and more companies committed to change are arriving, such as Naturgy. Their commitment to self-consumption of solar energy can reduce families' bills by up to 70%, whether they are followers of Navarrete or not. Those who want to know more about this savings watcher, in love with Jane Goodall, should know that recycling is mandatory in his house. “Also eat what's on your plate, and accept that some hair from my beloved animals may appear,” he warns. Much of his philosophy is instilled by his parents. Of them, he highlights a trick: “We didn't have space at home and they made me throw something away every day. That's how I learned to get rid of what you don't need." It is no coincidence that today this is the 'king' advice among the councils, and with which he closes his stay in the most sustainable house in Europe: “we must cultivate living with less and less because those who today live with little, is rich".