Geyser myths de­bunked

Lesotho Times - - Property -

HOME­OWN­ERS have been en­cour­aged to switch off their gey­sers to save elec­tric­ity, but does this make any dif­fer­ence to the over­all de­mand? Get the facts…

Craig Ber­man from Sav­ing en­ergy de­bunks some com­mon myths….

1. Switch­ing off the geyser doesn’t have a sub­stan­tial im­pact on over­all elec­tric­ity de­mand Craig says in an av­er­age house­hold, the geyser ac­counts for around 40 per­cent to 60 per­cent of the to­tal elec­tric­ity used in a month.

So when you have thou­sands of gey­sers all run­ning dur­ing the day and night, this places tremen­dous strain on the sup­ply grid.

2. Switch­ing the geyser on and off con­sumes more en­ergy Ac­cord­ing to Craig, a geyser op­er­ates by us­ing elec­tric­ity to heat water to the set tem­per­a­ture of the ther­mo­stat.

he says once the heat from the water dis­si­pates due to nat­u­ral ther­mo­dy­nam­ics, the ther­mo­stat then switches the el­e­ment back on to re­heat the water. this cy­cle can hap­pen 15 to 30 times per day.

Most peo­ple don’t need hot water through­out the day and so a lot of elec­tric­ity is wasted when the geyser is heat­ing water when not re­quired in the home.

A 150 litre geyser needs about an hour to heat water to the set tem­per­a­ture from cold. So switch­ing the geyser off when hot water is not re­quired and switch­ing it on an hour or so be­fore hot water is needed will cut the amount of elec­tric­ity used.

Al­ter­na­tively, the geyser will sim­ply run for 24 hours, re­sult­ing in high elec­tric­ity wastage, es­pe­cially in win­ter, and more so if the geyser does not have a geyser blan­ket to pre­vent the ad­di­tional heat loss, he says.

3. Switch­ing a geyser on and off dam­ages the ther­mo­stat Ab­so­lutely not, says Craig. the ther­mo­stat switches on and off dur­ing the nor­mal op­er­a­tional cy­cle any­way.

he says the only dam­age will oc­cur to the geyser breaker switch as it is de­signed to trip only when there is a prob­lem with the geyser. he says it is not de­signed to be fre­quently switched on and off.

4. Switch­ing a geyser on and off will cause it to crack No, def­i­nitely not. Craig says the geyser switches on and off dur­ing nor­mal oper­a­tion and is de­signed to with­stand the tem­per­a­ture and pres­sure cre­ated as the water heats up.

5. If you use a geyser blan­ket, the geyser doesn’t need to be switched off No. Ac­cord­ing to Craig, while the blan­ket as­sists with re­duc­ing heat loss, keep­ing the water hot­ter for longer, which in turn re­sults in less elec­tric­ity be­ing used — when the geyser does switch on, the av­er­age sav­ing achieved with a geyser blan­ket alone is only about 8 per­cent.

he says con­trol­ling the op­er­a­tional times of the geyser us­ing a timer would add be­tween 15 per­cent and 18 per­cent sav­ings over and above the blan­ket.

Con­trol­ling the geyser’s con­sump­tion of­fers greater en­ergy sav­ing than just the blan­ket, he says. In short, a geyser timer alone is about twice as ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing en­ergy us­age than us­ing a geyser blan­ket alone.

6. Geyser blan­kets can over­heat, ex­plode or catch fire No. Craig says geyser blan­kets that are made from re­cy­cled Pet (2L Coke bot­tles) don’t burn, over­heat or ex­plode. he says if there was a fire in the roof, the blan­ket would sim­ply melt in the heat.

7. Us­ing a timer on your geyser is a more ef­fi­cient way of man­ag­ing elec­tric­ity de­mand

Most def­i­nitely. As a com­pany that has installed more than 1 000 geyser timers, Craig says they know that switch­ing the geyser off dur­ing peak de­mand, and op­er­at­ing based on the water us­age pat­terns of the house­hold, makes a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in both cost and de­mand to both the con­sumer and the grid. — Prop­erty24

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