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10 Mar 2016

One of the best ways of keeping your monthly bills down is to cut power usage in your home – starting with geysers and stoves, of course, but also including other items which can consume a surprisingly large amount of energy, especially in hot weather.
Here are some summer power conservation tips from the experts:

1. The first thing to do is keep shade awnings extended and keep curtains, blinds or shutters closed during the hottest part of the day to block out sunlight and heat. This method alone can lower indoor temperatures by around six degrees and shave about 7% off your power bill.

2. If you have air conditioning, make sure the units are well-maintained and that the exterior condensers are shaded. If possible, connect a timer or smart control so that you can set the aircon to only switch on a short while before you get home instead of running all day.

3. Move lamps, TVs and other heat sources away from air conditioner thermostats so that units are not “fooled” into running longer than necessary. Also keep furniture and other obstacles away from the front of central air conditioning ducts so that cooler air can circulate properly.
Make sure your roof is properly insulated and that windows and doors fit tightly to keep cool air in and hot air out.

4. Replace all incandescent bulbs with more energy efficient (and cooler) globes like compact flourescents and LEDs.
5. If you don’t have airconditioning, ceiling fans or floor fans can also help to keep you cooler. Just remember to open windows and exterior doors in the evenings to let in cooler air to be circulated and to turn off the fan when you leave a room.
6. If you have a garden, plant shrubs or trees “strategically” to shade your home and windows from the sun.
7. Use your bathroom or kitchen extractor fans to pull the hot air straight out of your home whenever you cook or run hot water.
8. And speaking of cooking, why not get more use out of your patio or balcony in summer braai more often instead of using the stove? This will save power and keep your home cooler.