Stay Comfortable and Still Reduce Your Energy BillJason Siddall
It seems that every month in South Africa brings a new challenge; from rising fuel prices to steadily increasing energy costs. Which means that we are all looking for ways to reduce our energy bills and make our salaries stretch that little bit further.
Is it feasible, do you think, to maintain a comfortable modern home or office and still reduce energy costs?
Let’s see if this is possible.
Reducing Your Energy Bill – How?
So, the cost of electricity in sunny South Africa is a topic of heated debate – no doubt about it.
The facts are sobering:
“… Eskom’s reported average revenue per kilowatt-hour (expressed as its average cost of electricity) has grown from 14.98 cents per kWh in 2002 to 90.01 cents per kWh in 2019 — an increase of more than 500%.” (Source)
More items in our home are becoming available in an electric form from can openers to toothbrushes. However, one of the hungriest appliances in your home or office is likely to be your air conditioner.
This is bad news for most of us, armed as we are with the understanding that there are very few “normal” or “mild” days on the South African calendar. Our weather tends to pendulum between fiercely hot days which feel like the 7th Circle of Hell, monsoon rains, and bitterly cold fronts which take our breath away.
We want to stay warm. We want to stay cool. Actually, we just want to be comfortable! So, we need an HVAC system, but we don’t need the spiralling costs.
Buy The Right Air Conditioner
This is a sensible place to start.
The right air conditioner for your personal space should be the correct size. Too small and it’ll be working harder than it needs to in order to fulfil its function, and too large and it turns into a giant black hole where a big chunk of your electrical bill will go, for no good reason.
Good quality air conditioners will be easy to maintain – which is an often-overlooked element of the cost cycle. A clogged filter, for example, will force your unit to work much harder than necessary, and likely with less efficiency.
More and more of the modern aircon systems come with a delightfully intuitive programmable thermostat. This means that we can set our preferences and trust that our aircon will keep us comfortable with the bare minimum of energy usage.
Some aircon units come with sensors which allow them to activate when people are in the home but will shut down when there is no movement. Other options allow you to set temperatures from an app while you’re away from home.
The main point here is to take careful note of the energy efficiency rating of the air conditioner that you’re considering, as well as the more technical aspects of its operation which equate to significant energy cost savings down the line.
Buying the cheapest aircon may be a false economy.
Aircon Assistance For Lower Energy Costs
Your aircon may be the backbone of your cooling and heating system at home, but there are still many things that we can do to help it do its job faster, better, and more efficiently.
Close Windows & Doors
It should go without saying, but your air conditioner can only effectively cool the space it occupies. Therefore, open doors and windows which allow the outside heat in places additional strain on it, which equals more run time, and higher costs.
Shut out the sun
A bank of windows is great for a view but can turn your living area into a greenhouse if the sun is allowed to belt down through the glass. Closing curtains or blind assists with the cooling of your space and can reduce the temperature of a room dramatically.
You only have to go up into the loft on a summer’s day to understand how quickly an uninsulated area can heat up. Insulation in ceilings, floors and if possible – walls – go a long way toward reducing energy bills.
Solar panels are gaining popularity and rightly so. Our country enjoys enough sun to make this green energy option a viable solution and to further reduce our reliance on a somewhat shaky system.
The team at Toshiba offer an incredible selection of air conditioners, maintenance plans and sound advice. If your focus is on reducing energy costs, then we’d love to assist you. Please feel to call us on 011 878 6320.