Monday, July 23, 2007

Energy - part 2 the fridge freezer

Granma's Kitchen II
Granma's Kitchen II

It continues to rain and so my efforts are focussed inside the house instead of the garden. The weekend offered us one day of dry weather in which we tried to tackle the weeds with some amount of success. I am still thinking about all the people whose homes are flooded and those who are dealing with the aftermath of the flashfloods.

This weekend and last week I have been measuring the amount of units we use and to explore ways of changing that.
I found out that when the children are at home, electricity demand doubles. As it was raining and playing cricket was definitely out of the question, I observed what was going on in the household.

  • the TV was on most of the time, as well as a playstation and computer.
  • DH used the washing machine a lot and then dried everything in the drier.
  • The children had little idea what could be done otherwise.
  • DS 1 was not on the computer as he was engrossed in the latest Harry Potter novel.

I concluded that we are still a long way off making progress and that any rainy day beckons us all to fall back into the comfort zone of eating KWH of energy.

How can we reduce our energy requirements? It needs some more investigation.

The lightbulbs have all been changed and there is a limit to the reduction I can make ( especially if the weather is so unseasonal).
The outside chest freezer has been out of action for the last 2 months so I looked at our fridge freezer in the kitchen as well as the microwave that stands there idle most of the time.

Fridge Freezer:
Is on all the time and consumes on a regular basis. I could reduce the amount of energy used by:
  • ensuring that the doors are closed most of the time
  • the freezer is defrosted at regular intervals
  • clean the fridge on the inside. (A perfect job to do on a rainy day I hear you say)
  • clean the elements at the back of the fridge freezer.

In addition I could fit a savaplug which has a sensor that reduces the amount of electricity needed by as much as 20%. There are certain models not compatible with this so it is worth checking out if yours does. ( with the manufacturer or windtrap) The cost of a savaplug is between £ 19.99 and £ 22.00. One possible source to purchase one from is windtrap.( who by the way show pictures of what to do when the kit arrives....need you know any more).

The SavaPlug is an award-winning plug, developed in conjunction with the Department of Energy. When fitted it helps fridges and freezers run more economically by adjusting the electricity supply according to the motor's needs.

This is how it works: When the thermostat on your fridge or freezer switches on the motor to pump the refrigerant around the system, full power is required to start the motor. However, once the motor is running, full power is no longer needed. Most fridges and fridge-freezers just keep right on at full power though.

The SavaPlug senses this and reduces the flow of electricity to match the motor’s actual requirements. They’re easy to fit, you simply replace the existing 13A plug on the appliance, and by doing so you will make typical savings in electricity running costs of 20% (for domestic appliances). It’s particularly effective on larger and older models, and you can tell it’s working as it has a red light on it which glows as savings are being made. Over half a million SavaPlugs are already in use, saving money and helping the environment by reducing CO2 emissions. The SavaPlug is British made with solid state technology and comes with a 10 year guarantee. Savings amount to around £120 over its life. Not a bad investment - as well as over a tonne of CO2

Action for today : check model of fridge for compatibility with the savaplug order savaplug clean fridge freezer by defrosting it, cleaning the inside and taking the dust of the element at the back.

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