Copyright 2015-2016 - inspectorhomes.co.za
This site is powered by inspectorhomes.co.za
It all adds up! Save over R2,000 a year by following these 12 simple steps to save energy:
- Adjust the thermostat setting on
the geyser to 55degC
- Insulate the geyser and hot water pipes.
- Shower instead of bathing (based on one shower or bath per person per
- Fix leaking hot water taps (leaking at one drop of 1ml every two seconds)
- Don’t use the hot water tap for small amounts of cold
water (based on four draws of 1 litre of water per day)
- Fit a low-flow showerhead in the shower
- Insulate the ceilings in your home
an electric blanket instead of a heater in the bedroom
- Air-dry laundry outside (as opposed to using a 2kW tumble dryer for two hours
- Switch off the lights in rooms when they are not occupied
- Use fluorescent lights in places that require long hours of light
such as in the garage and kitchen
- Regularly service the pool pump and clean the filter
GEYSER/HOT WATER CYLINDER
is the highest consumer of electricity in the home, so it is important to implement some or all of the following measures to appreciate
significant energy savings.
- Set the temperature thermostat of the geyser to the recommended 55degC, as the higher the setting the more
energy is consumed.
- Install a timer that switches the geyser on and off according to the times you specify, which prevents heating
water when not necessary (e.g. during the day whilst at work). Alternatively manually control the geyser yourself by switching it
on for an hour or so before using the hot water (e.g. in mornings and evenings).
- Switch off the geyser before you go away for two or
- It is not true that you should leave fluorescent lights on rather than turning them off. Fluorescent lights require little
electricity to start up, and although it does decrease the tube’s life if you turn the lights off and on, the value of the saved electricity
is greater than the increased cost of replacing the tube.
- Use timer devices on plug sockets to switch lamps on and off for set periods
of the night for example.
- Use CFL bulbs, solar lamps, motion detector lights or photocell/day-night lights for exterior lighting.
switches help regulate the light level and reduce electricity consumption (e.g. for recessed downlights).
- Make the most of natural
light entering the house.
- Install a skylight to lighten dark areas in the day (instead of switching on a light).
you’re shopping for an appliance, think of two price tags. The first one covers the purchase price - think of it as a down payment.
The second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You’ll be paying on that second price tag every month
with your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance.
- Switch off all appliances such as TVs, DVD players
and stereos when they are not in use.
- Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are switched off. These
‘phantom’ loads occur in most appliances that use electricity. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics
is consumed while the products are turned off. You can avoid this by unplugging the appliance at the wall.
- Switch off your computer
if you’re not going to use it for the next two hours. It used to be better for older, mainframe computers to be left on, but this
does not apply to modern computers.
- Unplug seldom-used appliances, such as an extra fridge or freezer in the garage that contains just
a few items.
- Unplug your chargers/transformers when not charging items, as they still draw power. These include cell phone, digital
camera, battery and cordless hand vacuum/tool chargers.
- Buy appliances with an ‘energy efficient’ label or rating. The government is
introducing a standardised energy-efficiency labelling system, for comparative rating purposes. An ‘A’ rating is most energy efficient,
while a ‘G’ rating is the least efficient. Products with the American ENERGY STAR label are also energy efficient (e.g. computers
and monitors, provided that the power management features are activated).
- Replace ageing, inefficient appliances with new ones after
10-15 years. Even if the appliance has a few useful years left, replacing it with a modern energy efficient one will pay off as much
as 60% in energy savings.
- Do not buy larger and more powerful appliances than you need.
- Do not buy an electric appliance where a hand-operated
one will do.
- Use the correct appliance for the job, e.g. don’t make toast in the oven.
- Use a microwave oven, toaster, electric grill,
pressure cooker, electric frying pan and bottle warmers where possible, as they use less electricity than other methods.
- Air-dry laundry
instead of using a tumble dryer. If you do use a dryer, dry a full load and make sure the lint filter is cleaned after each use to
ensure air circulation.
- Fold up your laundered clothes, so you don’t have to iron them.
- Do all your ironing at the same time instead
of in stages. Switch the iron off before you are done, then complete ironing on stored energy.
- Use distilled water in steam irons to
prevent calcium build-up.
- Empty or replace your vacuum cleaner dust bag frequently.
- Defrost food in the fridge the night before instead
of defrosting in a microwave oven.
- Instead of leaving appliances such as a TV or DVD player on stand-by mode, rather switch off at
the mains. Leaving an appliance on stand-by is equivalent to leaving a 75W light bulb burning continuously.
- Turn off computer monitors
and computers completely rather than leaving them on automatic stand-by mode.
- A microwave oven is cheaper to operate than
a stove (for reheating and cooking).
- Match the size of the pot to the size of the stove plate/element.
- Make sure that the bottom of
a pot has good contact with the stove plate and is not warped or uneven in any way.
- Make sure that the stove plates are kept clean.
lids on pots when cooking to conserve heat and energy.
- For solid plate stoves, bring food to boil on high/max, then turn down to simmer
until ready (or switch off and allow the latent heat to finish cooking).
- Boil water in a kettle instead of heating up water in a pot
on the stove.
- Soak beans, lentils, samp and the like in cold water overnight. This will save time, money and several hours of cooking.
cook food for longer than necessary.
- Use a pressure cooker to conserve energy when you cook foods that take a long time, such as pot
roasts and stews.
- In the oven, cook several dishes of food at the same time.
- Keep the oven door closed until food is cooked (use the
oven light to check instead). Every time the door is opened, heat is lost and must be replaced.
- Ensure that the rubber seal of the
oven door is in good condition and that the door closes properly.
- Don’t use the stove or oven to heat a room; use an oil heater instead.
you are about to buy or replace an oven, consider buying a convection oven, which uses less energy than a conventional oven and reduces
cooking times substantially.
- Consider replacing your electric oven and hob with a more energy efficient LPG gas model.
- Use cold
water to fill the kettle.
- If you are making one cup of tea/coffee, boil only enough water for one cup (don’t boil a full kettle unnecessarily).
- Store any surplus hot water from the kettle in a vacuum flask and use later for a cup of tea or for washing up.
- Use the kettle to
boil water for pots for example, as it costs less than boiling water on the stove or in the microwave.
- De-scale lime build-up on the
element (using distilled white vinegar), as this reduces efficiency.
- Ensure that the rubber seals are in good condition
and that doors close properly. Check by placing a piece of paper or banknote closed in between the door gaskets, which should be difficult
to pull out - if not, replace the seals.
- Place the fridge/freezer away from a potential heat source (e.g. oven, direct sunlight).
leaving doors open for longer than necessary, to minimise cold air escaping.
- Defrost the fridge/freezer regularly (once every two months)
– frost build up of 1cm or more increases running costs.
- Frost-free fridges do not require defrosting, but use more electricity.
set fridge thermostat setting higher/colder than necessary. Turn down even lower for periods when you go away for two days or more.
stocked fridges/freezers maintain temperature better than empty ones, but do not overfill. Place water-filled bottles in fridge to
keep in the cold. Water bottles in the freezer will also keep frozen food colder for longer during a power outage (crumpled newspaper
also helps to fill any spaces).
- Allow hot or warm food to cool down naturally before placing in the fridge or freezer.
- Cover liquids
and wrap foods stored in the fridge. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
- Carefully clean the condenser
coils of the fridge regularly, these are typically located behind or underneath the fridge. Leave a sufficient space (e.g. 10cm) between
the fridge and wall for air to circulate around the condenser coils.
- Replace old fridges/freezers that are less energy efficient than
- Short cold water wash cycles are much more economical than longer hot water washes. Detergents formulated
for cold water get clothes just as clean. 90% of the energy used by the machine goes toward heating the water for warm washes.
the washing machine’s pre-wash cycle if the clothing is not particularly dirty.
- A front loader washing machine uses less water and
costs less to operate than a top loader.
- Washing a full load of clothing is more economical than small/medium loads. If you are washing
a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
- If using a warm wash for bed linen for instance, set the machine to wash at
60oC instead of a scorching 90degC.
- Be sure that the dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it. Half loads
cost you twice as much.
- Instead of using the pre-rinse cycle, scrape food soil off plates and rinse briefly with cold water before
placing in the dishwasher.
- Use short cycles for all but the dirtiest of dishes.
- Clean the filter regularly. Blocked filters reduce efficiency
and waste energy.
SPACE COOLING (summer)
- Use a fan or ceiling fan where possible instead of an air conditioner, as they use
much less electricity.
- Keep all windows closed when operating an air conditioner.
- Keep direct sunlight out by closing curtains/blinds.
the air conditioner filter regularly and clean or replace when necessary.
- Install ceiling insulation fibre to keep your house cool
(it reduces warm air conduction).
- A north-facing house is best for taking advantage of the natural light provided by sunlight and for
making best use of the warmth provided by the sun in winter when the sun is low, while being protected from the high summer sun.
that trees planted on the north side of the house are deciduous in order to shade north facing windows in the summer and allow the
sun through in the winter.
- Shade north-facing windows with overhangs or deciduous trees.
- Install retractable shade awnings above west
and east windows or install reflective film on windows.
SPACE HEATING (winter)
- Close windows, curtains and doors at night to
keep heat inside a room and to reduce heat loss. Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight in.
- Seal up cracks or holes in the
home (caulking). Reduce air leakage on doors and windows by using weather strips to keep out cold air. Use a ‘door worm’ or ‘sausage’
to block out draughts under doors.
- Use a fireplace (if installed) instead of a heater to heat up a room.
- Close the fireplace flue damper
when not in use.
- Insulate the ceiling to regulate the temperature of rooms and prevent heat loss.
- Cover bare/tiled floors with rugs
- Wear warm clothing and use an extra blanket on the bed to keep warm.
- If necessary, use an oil heater (with thermostat) instead
of a bar heater. Set it at a medium/comfortable level.
- Ceiling fans can keep you comfortable in winter too. Reversing the direction
of the blades pushes warm air down in the room.
- It is cheaper to use an electric blanket in bed instead of a heater in the bedroom.
ceiling insulation fibre to keep your house warm (it minimises warm air escaping).
- Create a windbreak with evergreen trees/shrubs or
a barrier to stop chilling winter winds.
- Planting deciduous trees (which lose their leaves in winter) will provide cooling shade from
the summer sun and permit winter sunlight to reach and warm up your home.
- A north-facing house provides ideal natural light and is
beneficial for winter heating when the sun is at a lower angle than in summer.
POOL FILTER PUMP
- Swimming pool pumps use up to
20% of total electricity consumption in the home. Simply reduce the time interval for running the pump by up to two hours a day (e.g.
6 hours instead of 8 hours) in summer. Keep cutting back to establish the minimum amount of operating time required to keep the pool
- Use a pool cover. This will keep the pool cleaner, resulting in fewer backwashes and less strain on the pump. Due to lower algae
growth in winter, the pump running time can be further reduced.
- Clean/backwash the filter regularly and remove foreign materials from
the strainer basket.
- Spa baths/jacuzzis are one of the highest consumers of household electricity due to heating requirements and
Post by City of Cape Town
Practical steps to being energy efficient at home
There are many things that you can do that won't cost you anything to save energy at home today! In fact, saving energy can save you
money as you’ll spend less on your electricity bill each month. Saving energy is also important as producing electricity in South
Africa is damaging to the environment due to increased carbon emissions.
Check your monthly electricity statements regularly and take
a keen interest in your household energy consumption level. After implementing some or many of the recommendations below, you will
be surprised at how your electricity consumption decreases as a result. Also tell your family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues
about the energy efficient behaviour that you have learned.
Inspected once, Inspected Right!®
Have A Certified Professional Protect Your Investment