Many ways to cut en­ergy use

Matamata Chronicle - - Building -

IT’S EASY to save on en­ergy use in your home! The av­er­age New Zealand house­hold uses about 8500kWh of en­ergy each year. This costs around $1530 a year or $127 a month.

The break­down of av­er­age house­hold en­ergy use is: Ap­pli­ances/elec­tron­ics 21 per cent, space heat­ing and cool­ing 35 per cent, hot wa­ter 27 per cent, cook­ing 8 per cent, light­ing 9 per cent

Around 35 per cent of a house­holds en­ergy use is by space heat­ing and cool­ing. This equals about $530 a year.

The main ar­eas are:

For heat­ing and cool­ing to de­liver sav­ings, in­stal­la­tion of the ap­pro­pri­ate lev­els of in­su­la­tion in the ceil­ings, floor and walls can re­duce your heat­ing or cool­ing re­quire­ments by up to 30 per cent.

A 3mm gap around a door or win­dow is the same as hav­ing a brick size hole in the wall.

Max­imise the ben­e­fit of the heat from the sun which can de­liver 1000kw of en­ergy for each me­tre of win­dow. Cut trees back from win­dows. Close cur­tains at night and make sure that cur­tains fit tightly to win­dows or pel­mets are in­stalled. Cur­tains should ex­tend to the floor. Set your ther­mo­stat tem­per­a­ture at as low a tem­per­a­ture as com­fort­able with­out af­fect­ing your health. A tem­per­a­ture of 18C should be ad­e­quate. For each 1C in­crease in the ther­mo­stat set­ting may cost an ad­di­tional 10 per cent of the heat­ing en­ergy.

Re­duce mois­ture build up in your home with ap­pro­pri­ate ven­ti­la­tion in the kitchen and bath­room and avoid dry­ing clothes in­doors when­ever pos­si­ble and if us­ing a dryer en­sure it is vented to the out­side of the house.

Close cur­tains or blinds and rooms where over­heat­ing oc­curs.

Con­sider the use of sun shades and lou­vres al­low­ing sun en­try in the win­ter while pro­vid­ing shade in the sum­mer.

In­stall a ceil­ing fan. These are rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive and have low run­ning costs. Fans do not cool the air.

Avoid us­ing heat pumps for cool­ing wher­ever pos­si­ble.

Around 27 per cent of a house­hold’s en­ergy use is for wa­ter heat­ing. This equates to about $415 a year.

Make sure the ther­mo­stat on your hot wa­ter cylin­der is set at 55-60C.

Take shorter show­ers and avoid baths. Pur­chase a shower timer and make it fun to have shorter show­ers for the kids. One minute less in the shower saves be­tween 10 and 20 litres of wa­ter or up to 7000 litres per year.

In­stall low flow shower heads. The new low flow shower mod­els de­liver a good wa­ter flow and use less than half the amount of wa­ter.

For hot wa­ter cylin­ders older than 10 years in­stall a hot wa­ter cylin­der wrap. In­stalling a hot wa­ter cylin­der wrap is sim­ple and easy to do and will pay for it­self within two years.

Cook­ing uses around eight per cent of a house­hold’s en­ergy.

Check your oven door to en­sure it seals cor­rectly.

Use small ap­pli­ances for cook­ing mi­crowave, elec­tric jug, elec­tric fry pans or grills as these are of­ten more ef­fi­cient than the oven.

If us­ing your oven use a fan forced oven as it cooks quicker and uses less en­ergy.

Light­ing uses around 8 per cent of a house­hold’s en­ergy.

Switch off lights when not in rooms or when you will be out of a room for more than 10 min­utes.

Max­imise the use of nat­u­ral light in rooms. Use move­ment sen­sors on all out­side lights

Re­place in­can­des­cent light bulbs with com­pact flu­o­res­cent light and flu­o­res­cent tubes. Use flu­o­res­cent tubes for gen­eral light­ing in the kitchen, fam­ily ar­eas and spa­ces where lights are on for long pe­ri­ods.

Use the cor­rect size light bulbs and fit­tings

The ap­pli­ances and elec­tron­ics use around 21 per cent of a house­hold’s en­ergy. Some sim­ple tips to save en­ergy in these ar­eas: Stand-by Power Stand-by power uses up to 10 per cent of a house­hold’s en­ergy. Stand-by power is the en­ergy con­sumed by an ap­pli­ance while it is on but not be­ing used. This can eas­ily be re­duced by switch­ing ap­pli­ances off at the wall in­stead of leav­ing them on stand-by Clothes Wash­ing and Dry­ing Front load­ing wash­ing ma­chines use up to 45 per cent less wa­ter and 50 per cent less en­ergy than equiv­a­lent top load­ers. Only wash with full loads. Use the sun to dry clothes out­side when­ever pos­si­ble. Re­frig­er­a­tors Your fridge may ac­count for up to 10 per cent of your house­hold’s en­ergy use. If your re­frig­er­a­tor is more than 10 years old con­sider re­plac­ing it. The pay­back may be shorter than five years.

Use the En­ergy Star rat­ing when pur­chas­ing a fridge or freezer.

Check the door seals are clean and tight fit­ting. Reg­u­lar de­frost­ing. Cover food and do not put hot food in the fridge. En­sure there is good cir­cu­la­tion around the fridge in ac­cor­dance with the man­u­fac­tur­ers rec­om­men­da­tions and wher­ever pos­si­ble place the fridge in a cool lo­ca­tion away from ovens, stoves and di­rect sun­light. Heated Towel Rails If you use heated towel rails ei­ther turn them off dur­ing sum­mer or in­stall a timer to re­duce the time they are used.

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