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6 Energy-Efficient Home Improvements That Reduce Household Costs

May 16, 2024 | Uncategorised

It’s no secret that South Africa is experiencing an energy crisis. Added to that, we’re all looking for ways to reduce our household costs in order to make life more affordable. A key solution that should tackle both problems is by making a couple of energy-efficient improvements in your home. What’s important to keep in mind, though, is that everyone’s circumstances and energy use is different, so the advice coming your way should be judged according to what works best for you.

Selecting the right combination will help you save money on your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

With this in mind, let’s do a review of the energy-efficient improvements you can make in your own home.

Insulate Your Home

You know how it goes… if it gets cold, you plug in the oil heater, turn on the gas heater, electric blankets, and that sort of thing. And when it gets cold, you crank on the fans and aircon in order to cope. However, if you properly insulate your home, you can help keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, thereby reducing the need for all that extra help with temperature control.

The common areas where insulation is needed includes your attics, walls, and floors. You can use a variety of materials for insulation, including fibreglass, cellulose, and foam board. You should also seal sneaky cracks, gaps, and leaks.

A Lighter Approach

A very basic change that can drastically change your energy consumption is your lighting. A low-tech approach is to use the amazing natural light that we have in South Africa by keeping curtains open during the day to avoid turning on the lights. But far more impactful is switching from traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs. This change alone can help you save around 75% of the power you use on lighting. LEDs also last up to 25 times longer, so there’s that, too.

A Timely Appliance Upgrade

The reality is that your older appliances are less energy-efficient than the newer models, which are usually built with considerations for reducing the load to power systems and as a result, reducing your energy use. It might seem like a hefty expense, but the long-term savings of getting a new microwave, washing machine, or dishwasher and recycling your old models are worth it.

Let’s Talk Water

Oh boy, what an area to change up. Let’s start with installing low-flow showerheads, which could mean using up to 50% less water than the regular type. And then there’s the issue with your water itself – specifically the heating of your water.

Installing a smart device that intelligently turns your geyser on and off, makes your geyser operate more efficiently, saving you money on electricity each month. Not only that, but a device like HotBot provides you with proactive alerts of leaks and other geyser faults and automatically adjusts to your loadshedding schedule.

Go The Next Step With Solar

Solar panels can help you generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid. The good news is that solar panels are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that meets your needs and budget.

A great place to start with solar is your geyser. Using the sun’s energy to heat your water is one of the beautiful things about living in South Africa, where sunlight is abundant. Again, solar geysers are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that meets your needs and budget.

Make Good Choices

Some of the ways to become more energy-efficient is through the simple choices we make in our homes each day. It can come down to turning off the lights when you’re not in the room, turning off your oven on time, turning off unnecessary water, unplugging devices not in use, and closing your blinds and curtains to keep your home’s temperature cooler in the summer and opening them up to let the sun warm up your home.

Feeling Informed?

We trust that this advice is useful and will help you reduce your electricity consumption, bring those bills down, and help save the planet.

Don’t forget that AA Inform is home to a range of useful tools and resources – including our Home Affordability Calculator which will give you an estimate of how much you can afford, as well as our Personal Loan Calculator (in case you’re thinking more deeply about going solar).

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