Tuesday, November 20
DIY

Tip of the week: Reduce use to beat price increase

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Top tips to reduce electricity consumption

I was shocked the other day when I saw how few units were left on our electricity meter, and demanded of Mrs Mac she start saving electricity. She replied the price of electricity had risen and we were getting less for our rands. So perhaps it is time to pass on electricity-saving tips.

A solar water-heating unit is said to reduce consumption by 40% to 50%. I will check this out and report back to you.

Here are tips from Eskom:

* Set your electrical geyser’s thermostat at 55°C to 60°C.

* Switch off lights when they are not needed.

* Dimmer switches reduce electricity consumption.

* Use the correct heaters. Infrared electricity heaters are the most energy-efficient while oil heaters are the safest.

* Insulate the ceiling and seal air gaps in the home.

* Completely fill the dishwasher before switching it on.

* Install your dishwasher away from your fridge. The dishwasher’s heat and moisture make the fridge work harder.

* Tumble dryers that operate with an electronic humidity control are the most efficient as they automatically shut off the cycle when clothes are dry.

* Remove water before putting clothes into the tumble dryer. We have found that using our Spindel before putting clothes into the tumble dryer reduces drying time.

* A front-loading washing machine uses less water than a top-loader and costs less to operate.

* Cold-water detergents reduce electricity consumption.

* Use pressure cookers when preparing food that takes a long time to cook.

* Match pots and pans to stove plates. Small pots on large plates waste electricity. I always cook on gas.

* When you defrost food, leave it in the fridge overnight. You’ll use less electricity than defrosting food in the microwave.

* Defrost fridges regularly. A build up of ice reduces operating efficiency and increases running costs.

* Use the correct appliance for the job. For example, do not make toast on the stove or in the oven.

* Paint your walls a light colour. Dark colours absorb light, requiring you to use more energy from lightbulbs.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: Like us on Facebook

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