Fluorescent light bulbs produce less heat and are more energy efficient. Pictures: Supplied

With rising costs, it’s to rethink the way we use appliances in our homes, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

South African consumers are feeling the pinch now more than ever. With the recent VAT increase and fuel price hike, we’re always looking for ways to stretch our budgets.

And now with winter in full effect, it means going out less and staying in more.

Energy-efficient gadgets and appliances could be the answer to increasing electricity costs. Not only are they good for the environment, they’re easy on your pocket as well.

Price comparison website www.pricecheck.co.za have come up with a few suggestions to make your home more energy efficient.

Swap out your electricity guzzlers

There are appliances that we rely on heavily during the colder months that we could easily swap for more energy efficient versions.

For example, instead of using an electric heater, consider switching to one that uses gas. Your geyser also uses a lot of electricity. So consider covering it with a blanket retain the heat. Or, you could install a geyser timer that switches it on and off at certain times of the day.

Install a geyser timer that switches it on and off at certain times of the day.


Washing clothes

Not all washing machines are created equally, especially when it comes to energy efficiency.

It’s very important to look at the energy grading of the product you’re buying. Ideally you want to purchase a washing machine that has an A to AAA rating. You’d be surprised how much this will save you on electricity in the long run.

Wash clothes as effectively in cool water as you would in warm water which saves energy.

The Samsung washing machine with Eco Bubble technology comes highly recommended. It allows you to wash just as effectively in cool water as you would in warm water. It also has a selection of settings that ensure you aren’t washing clothes for two hours at a time.

Drying clothes

While normal tumble dryers can spin up to 1200 RPM (Rotations Per Minute), the Spindel Laundry Dryer gets up to 2800 RPM. This means that it uses a very fast spin rate to remove most of the moisture in fabrics.

The Spindel Laundry Dryer is also extremely light on electricity, using only 1 Kwh of electricity every 65 spindel cycles. That’s equivalent of using a 60W light bulb for 15 minutes.

Spindel is a specialist laundry spin dryer that uses spin power instead of heat to quickly remove excess moisture from laundry.


Let there be light

Many homes still make use of incandescent bulbs. These bulbs use a lot of energy. Consider swapping all or some of the bulbs in your house to fluorescent ones, which produce less heat and are more energy efficient.

Fluorescent light bulbs produce less heat and are more energy efficient. Pictures: Supplied

These may cost slightly more, but they last a lot longer and will end up saving you energy expenses over time.

It’s all about the small changes

When you aren’t charging your phone, unplug the charger or switch it off at the wall, otherwise it keeps using electricity.

Furthermore, continuously keep looking at the little things you can do to keep your energy costs down.