For most of us, having to work from home seemed like the dream job, until Week #3 - when the kids desperately needed to go back to school and the idea of being stuck in traffic for 2 hours seemed like the perfect getaway.
The truth is, being at home 24hrs a day, even by yourself could eventually have you questioning the price you pay for your utilities. More and more South African homes are finding themselves trying to strike a balance between home, office, and school. We thought it would be a great idea to make mental note of electrical wastage in our homes that go by unnoticed daily. Let us start in our favorite place:
Common Household Wastage:
1. The Kitchen - If you are like me, then most of your days are spent in this space, cooking up a storm. Two problems here A: My daily food increase since the lockdown & B:Cooking, having to turn the stove or oven on and off at different intervals. The other important kitchen device that flies under the radar is the kettle. Believe it or not but,turning this appliance on and off is not only contributing to 'wastage' it becomes an increasingly big problem if the amount of water inside is incorrectly filled up, compared to the number of drinks you're making. It’s simple, waste some perfectly good hot water,OR increase your lockdown status to ' husband of the month ' and make a cuppa for the Mrs.
2. The Lounge - After eating all that food from the kitchen the next best place to be is on the couch, this means switching on the TV. Having a TV on continuously can add to the wastage. Make sure TVs are turned off (preferably throughout the home if unused) and the power is switched off at the plug when you are done. Switching the power off at the plug point will also help kill that circuit and any unused plugs or chargers that may be on that circuit as well.
3. The Bathroom - While there is not much that can be done here, we do recommend that installing a time correctly and acting within those cycles, can drastically reduce the bill in the long term. It is also a good general rule to switch off unused lights.
4. Office Area / Study - Be incredibly careful not to overload circuits here, having more than one laptop or PC could lead to the use of multiple adaptors. This could potentially cause strain on that circuit. Just like in the lounge area it is recommended to switch off all plug points when not in use. (these areas could have aircon, consider putting the unit on a timer. This means even if you do not remember to switch it off, it will cut the cycle long before it turns your office into Antarctica.
5. Pool Pumps - These guys can cost you some good money. It is advisable to have these acton a timer. If you regulate the usage, you are controlling the bill.
6. Aircons - It seems to be a common thought that switching the aircon on and off, can save you a few Rands. Sadly, it is the opposite of the 'fact' anything that has a start-up current requires it to reach a certain optimum before stabilizing. Think of it like an airplane once its reached maximum altitude only then will it become stable.
7. Common Area Lights - Waking up to find the outside lights on long after the sun comes up is a norm in my home. It is extremely easy to forget about these lights, especially if your indoors most of the day. Depending on the type of lights and the number, it could also show itself in your bill. A good idea is to get all these lights on a timer or day night switch. The options available are endless and can be found easily.
So... that concludes this article, 7 tips to start practicing for the next 7 days of lockdown. It is important to get into these little daily habits going especially point # 1 for its multiple benefits. Next week, we take a calculated look at some of the appliances here. We calculate the daily costs aim to move your actions to smarter savings for your home.