Ways to cut down elec­tric­ity usage

Lesotho Times - - Property -

AS the win­ter chill starts to bite, so does the elec­tric­ity bill. The good news is that there are some smart, cheap ways to keep the lights on and save money in the process.

Be­sides heaters, the other house­hold ap­pli­ance that con­sume a large amount of elec­tric­ity there is the geyser, and in win­ter, its ‘ap­petite’ grows.

You see, as your geyser heats up to the set tem­per­a­ture, the sur­round­ing cold air sucks the heat away. This is a part of the nat­u­ral law of ther­mo­dy­nam­ics. This means that your geyser is go­ing to work even harder to keep that wa­ter hot. As such, it will come on more of­ten and for longer. This is go­ing to cost you more money at the end of the month.

Craig Ber­man, MD of Sav­ing En­ergy, shares some clever en­ergy ef­fi­cient sav­ing tips that will save you money this win­ter...

Get a geyser timer fit­ted This sim­ple de­vice con­trols when your geyser switches on and off, and more im­por­tantly, it’s aligned to your wa­ter usage pat­terns to max­imise sav­ings achieved.

For ex­am­ple, many of us shower in the morn­ings around 7am, and then again at night around 8pm af­ter bathing the kids who also need hot wa­ter. If this is the case in your house­hold, your geyser doesn’t need to be run­ning when you’re not home.

By pro­gram­ming the timer to heat the wa­ter when you need it, you can save around 15 per­cent to 18 per­cent on your monthly elec­tric­ity costs.

To get the tim­ing right, you’d need to set the timer to come on at 4am and switch off at 6am, for ex­am­ple. Later on, you can have it switch on for one hour from 11am to 12pm, and again from 4pm to 6pm, all while stay­ing off peak de­mand.

By adding an ex­tra layer of in­su­la­tion around your geyser, you pre­vent stand­ing heat loss, which is sub­se­quently redi­rected into the hot wa­ter. A geyser blan­ket will add about an 8 per­cent to 10 per­cent sav­ings on your elec­tric­ity costs, and this will along with the timer pro­vide the cheap­est and most cost ef­fec­tive way to re­duce your monthly elec­tric­ity costs, by as much as 30 per­cent.

Turn your geyser down Once you have fit­ted a timer and blan­ket, ask the in­stall­ers to turn your ther­mo­stat down to around 58 °C or so. Most home­own­ers have their ther­mostats set too high — this is an ex­ces­sive and un­nec­es­sary cost.

Add a wa­ter and en­ergy sav

ing shower head Adding a high qual­ity en­ergy and wa­ter sav­ing shower head will cut your wa­ter usage by half.

An av­er­age shower uses 20 litres of wa­ter per minute. So a 5 minute shower will con­sume 100 litres of wa­ter, of which 40 litres will be hot wa­ter. If four peo­ple shower, that’s 160 litres of hot wa­ter and 240 litres of cold wa­ter.

An en­ergy and wa­ter sav­ing shower head will cut that wa­ter usage to just nine litres per minute, sav­ing you a lot of wa­ter and elec­tric­ity. With a low flow reg­u­la­tor built in to the shower head, you can now have a great shower ex­pe­ri­ence, and save wa­ter and elec­tric­ity at the same time.

Get an en­ergy ef­fi­cient dryer In win­ter, es­pe­cially on those cold and wet days, we tend to turn to our tum­ble dry­ers to dry our clothes.

A stan­dard tum­ble dryer can use around 3 300 watts or 3.3 kwh of power an hour and, if you use it a few times a week, you may need to take out a sec­ond mort­gage to pay your wa­ter and lights bill at the end of the month.

There is a bet­ter way to dry your clothes, and that’s with a spin­del.

Spin­ning at more than 2.5 times the rate of a nor­mal wash­ing ma­chine and dryer, the spin­del re­moves most of the mois­ture in your clothes and only uses a 65th of en­ergy needed for one tum­ble dryer cy­cle.

Once you take the clothes out of the spin­del, they only need about three min­utes in the tum­ble dryer or half an hour on a wash­ing line in the sun. All of these en­ergy savers will not only keep you warm and cut your elec­tric­ity costs this win­ter, but leave you smil­ing when you get your monthly state­ment.

— Prop­erty24

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