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Written by Alex under Air Purifiers, Dehumidifiers, General | No Comments ""

Because of the health benefits and the changes we’ve seen in the climate over the past few years, ( do you remember the last time summer or winter wasn’t the hottest, wettest, driest, or windiest since records began?) many people are finding it necessary to invest in additional heaters for the winter and coolers such as evaporative coolers which act a little like a portable aircon unit for the summer time.
Unfortunately this goes against the advice to reduce the amount we spend on our energy consumption because we all need to try and save money as well as use less fuel in an attempt to protect the environment. Notwithstanding the received wisdom the elderly need to have heating in the wintertime, Britain often has a higher rate of mortality from hypothermia than Scandinavian countries because people worry about the cost of heating their homes.
Heating accounts for the main portion of the money we spend on household bills over the course of a year, appliances such as cookers, fridges washing machines and TVs account for most of the rest. Most homes are heated with gas in the UK making a like for like comparison against other energy uses impossible but if you can get your hands on one of those domestic power meters you can easily see exactly how much energy each of your household appliances is using.
It’s not just when your appliances are switched on that they drain energy, when you put your TV, computer or hi-fi on standby it still continues to use a great deal of electricity. Finding out just how much can cause quite a shock!
So, which are the main culprits for taking power while seemingly dormant?
Modems and WiFi Routers
Again these devices draw power 24 hours a day, most of the time all you get for that is a blinking light and the assurance that should you wish to surf the web, you can at a moment’s notice. It’s a tiny amount of electricity but it mounts up to a few pounds a year, a few pounds that you could be saving if you switched it off when you left the house empty.
Freeserve Decoders, TIVO Boxes, And Cable TV Units
These don’t usually have an ‘Off’ switch, you just turn the television off and forget about them, better ones register when the TV isn’t in use and go to sleep but in the main they stay on 24/7. Some experts estimate that because a highly efficient fridge is only on for a few hours a day at most your domestic entertainment equipment could be costing you more than you’re spending on keeping your food fresh. Hardly worth it when you only actually watch a couple of hours TV a day is it?

Plasma TVs gulp down energy like a drowning fish, as much as triple the consumption of an LCD TV and even LCD TVs use up far more than the old fashioned cathode ray tube TVs that it seems so hard to get a hold of any longer. If you haven’t upgraded for digital, again it’s s good idea to look into getting a good, energy efficiency rated TV set and remember to switch it off properly when you’ve finished watching. In fact, running your home entertainment from a distribution board which you time to go off when the house is empty would save a considerable amount of money. Something to think about.
Air Purifiers, Coolers And Dehumidifiers
As mentioned above, the health benefits of these appliances speak for themselves but that doesn’t defeat the fact that they do use a considerable amount of energy to run. If you have one now or are thinking of investing in one in the future there are a few point to remember to keep running costs down.
Get one which is rated for energy efficiency, most appliances are these days and to keep it in good running order remember to have it serviced as per the manufacturers instructions.
Make sure it’s appropriate for the space. If it’s too small you’ll need to keep it running flat out all day to keep the rooms comfortable. Too big and it’s simply inefficient to run it at all.
Keep windows and doors shut if you’re trying to keep a building cool and don’t bother running the dehumidifier while you’re ventilating if you have a damp problem. People who insist on opening windows when you’re running purifiers and coolers are just letting dirty, warm air in and cool, clean air out.
Your Turn
Now over to you. You can run your own tests using a home energy monitor, some councils make them available to borrow from your local library. They’re not expensive but if your friends family and neighbours are interested in keeping the costs of their utilities down it might be worth clubbing together to identify where the biggest power drains are and think of a way to fix them.


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