This Pre-Holiday Checklist Will Save You Electricity and Money
This entry was posted on December 12, 2014.
The holidays are around the corner (and thankfully so!). Whether you’re leaving Jozi to hit the coast, or escaping to somewhere secluded, it’s time to prepare for the exciting road ahead! Before you head off and forget about home, consider what you can do to make sure your return home is just as much of a pleasure as the adventure forward.
We all know that January can often be a tough financial month. With the kids returning to school, new books and uniforms being bought, and after the splendour of Christmas your wallet may feel a little empty. However, there’s no need to fret. The energy saving experts at Sustainable.co.za have created a list of simple tips for saving money and electricity while you’re away on holiday. To make sure you don’t leave anything out, we’ve arranged the tips according to how far in advance you should start to implement each step.
Shop for Gadgets
There are a number of nifty gadgets out there to automate tasks such as watering the garden or turning on appliances. When you’re on holiday you don’t want your garden to dry up, and finding someone to look after your home while you’re on holiday can be difficult or expensive. Consider purchasing gadgets that can automate important tasks for you. We stock a range of motion sensing solar powered security flood lights that switch on in the dark when movement is detected with the aim to deter potential intruders. Another idea to think about is to install a geyser timer. A geyser timer will allow you to set your geyser to stop producing hot water when you’re on holiday and then to start heating water again when you return. Imagine coming home from an epic overland trip to a hot shower, without having to wait for the water to heat up. If you haven’t considered installing one yet, you definitely should! See why in our blog on geyser efficiency.
If you can’t get your hands on a watering timer for the garden, we have a simple DIY irrigation solution that will help keep your plants hydrated. Take a plastic 2l bottle and nail a few holes into the lid. Fill the bottle with water, and dig the bottle neck into the soil near the base of the potted plants (full steps here). It’s best to test this drip irrigation before your holiday to avoid any nasty surprises.
One day before you leave: discard perishables (make sure that your organic waste goes to the worm farm or the bokashi), adjust your refrigerator’s temperature, set any timers you have installed to manage your home, and give your garden a final watering.
No one likes a stinky fridge (or wasting food for that matter) so be sure to look for any food that may go off while you’re away – and don’t forget to check the kitchen cabinets, ants just love open sugar pots! If there’s any perishable food lying in your fridge that you won’t be able take along on your holiday, give it to a friend or someone in need. If you find that your fridge is looking very empty, fill empty coke bottles with water and stack in the fridge. This will ensure that the cool temperature is retained better. The same goes for your freezer.
Set Your Fridge Temperature
At this step it’s important to check that your fridge’s temperature isn’t set too cool (an adequate temperature for safe food storage in a fridge falls between 2 °C and 4°C). The same goes for your freezer, the temperature doesn’t need to lower than minus 18°C, but don’t defrost your freezer – it costs more to restart the freezing than to keep the appliance running at its normal pace. Extremely low fridge and freezer temperatures cause unnecessary energy usage.
Set the Hot Water Geyser Timer
If you have a geyser timer installed, make sure that you have it set to go off as soon as you’re ready to leave for holiday, and to turn on again a couple of hours before your return home, so that you may enjoy a comforting hot shower after your long drive home.
Water the Plants
Remember to water your plants right before you leave and to fill up your DIY irrigation lids if you have placed any in your garden.
About three hours before you leave, check that all heaters and air cons are turned off, unplug appliances, turn off your water and gas, and empty the trash cans.
Ensure that appliances such as your coffeemaker, microwave, television and computer are switched off, and remember to unplug your phone and laptop chargers. Battery chargers and these appliances consume low levels of electricity when plugged into the wall in what is called “no load mode” or “standby mode”. Saving every bit of electricity counts thus it’s important not to overlook this step.
If you use a gas geyser, turn off the pilot light and shut down the water heater. You should also consider turning off the connection to your gas stove. Close off the water to your dishwasher and the clothes washer too, to prevent the odd water pipe from bursting while you’re away.
Remember to take out your trash. You don’t want ants, maggots and flies to have a party in your kitchen while you’re gone!
Lock Up and Switch Off the Lights
Lock all doors and windows and turn off the lights fifteen minutes before you leave. The holiday season is associated with a higher crime rate and forgetting to close windows and lock doors can cost you. A good idea is to lock your garage from the inside to prevent clever thieves from breaking into your house from the garage.
The Sustainable.co.za team wishes everyone a safe and wonderful festive season. We’d also like to remind you that our last orders date falls on Wednesday, 12 December 2014 (12:00). Orders placed after this date and time will be processed in the New Year. Our head office will also be closed on 19 December 2014 and re-open again on 5 January 2015 to answer any of your queries.
Thank you to everyone for your support throughout the year!