With the constant increase in the cost of living, most people are looking to save money where possible.

Take your water and electricity, for example. Already switch off your geyser when it is not in use? There are numerous other ways to cut your usage to lower your bills.

Water

Appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines probably account for the majority of the water usage in your home. Remember to use these big appliances only when they have a full load.

Garden: The Worldwide Fund for Nature in South Africa recommends watering your garden after 6pm and swapping out thirsty plants for those that are indigenous and drought-resistant. For example, opt for succulents, which don’t have to be watered all that often. .

Toilets: Don’t flush used tissues down the toilet. Each flush accounts for 12 litres of water. Rather throw all waste into a bin.

Bathing: Filling a bathtub can require up to 150 litres of water. Other than filling it up with less water, you could also try to bathe your small children in the same tub or bathing them one after the other in the same bath-water.

READ: How to save money at the grocery store

Electricity

A geyser is a power-guzzler that accounts for 32% of a typical household’s energy consumption. Lower your electricity usage by tackling your geyser.

Scheduling: A Stellenbosch University study found that scheduling your water heater correctly according to the amount of hot water that you use can result in considerable savings. “The best way to save on your household electric water heating, is to start heating water two hours before and stopping before taking a shower or a bath,” said Prof Thinus Booysen from the university’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering faculty.

His team researched and compared eight typical households.

“We found that schedule control saves as much as 18% for households that take only one bath or shower per day, and an average of 12% for all the different usage patterns assessed,” he said.

Insulation: Booysen’s study found that insulation of the pipes and the tank could see you save anything from 5% to 12% on usage, thereby reducing your bill. This is what he regards as the second most-effective way of reducing your electricity use.

“Thermal insulation saves as much as 12% for low-volume, infrequent use,” he said.

Reduce the temperature: Something as small as reducing the temperature, especially of the cold water inlet, can mean savings overall.

“The results show that the temperature of the cold inlet water has a significant impact on energy consumption, with a 5°C increase leading to an average saving of 13%, compared to only 5% for the same change in ambient temperature,” said Booysen.

Back to lifestyle.

Source: Stellenbosch University