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Cut your electricity bill with a geyser blanket and timer

Category Helpful Hints

As the colder season and the annual Eskom price increase approaches, more people will start looking at ways to save electricity and money through winter.

A geyser blanket alone can save around 8% to 10% on your electricity bill simply by insulating your geyser against the cold and especially in winter.

From using gas heaters to solar, homeowners often look ‘out there’ for solutions, but actually they should first look inside the home, and more specifically, inside the roof.

Craig Berman, from Saving Energy, says typically, a geyser accounts for between 40% and 60% of the total monthly electricity usage, and in winter, this will increase due to standing heat loss.

Just like a cup of tea

You boil the kettle and the water comes out at 96°C into your cup. The water infuses the tea bag and that warm homely colour starts to settle into the cup.

The second the water comes out of the kettle, it starts cooling down because the colder air around it draws the heat out of the water. This is all due to a process of natural thermodynamics, where heat flows from hot to cold.

In the 5 minutes it takes to make that cup of tea, the water could lose 10°C in temperature just to the air around it.

If you left that tea out for 10 to 15 minutes, it would go from hot, to warm, lukewarm and then cold. As such, you’d have to reheat it back to 96°C and that would waste electricity. To cut down on wastage, use a tea cosy to keep it warmer for much longer.

Now, consider the surface area of the tea cup - not very big is it? Now think about a tea cup as big as your geyser and how much heat it would lose if left out in the cold.

By keeping the geyser from switching on when the hot water is not needed and combining that with the insulation provided by the blanket, the electricity savings ‘jump’ considerably from 10% to 28%.

Your geyser is nothing but a big kettle

A kettle has a tank that you put water into and an element that heats the water as does your geyser. The main difference here is that a geyser has a thermostat which serves as a ‘temperature’ gauge that measures when the water reaches the geyser set point.

For example, if the geyser is set to 60°C, as soon as the element has heated the water to that temperature, the thermostat switches the element off. As soon as the water reaches the set temperature, however, it starts cooling down because the geyser’s steel tank is a great heat conductor and the surrounding air is much colder than the water inside the geyser.

When the water starts to cool down that’s when the thermostat jumps into action again. It switches on the element so that it can reheat the water back to the required set temperature and no sooner has it done that, then the water starts losing heat again, and so it goes on and on.

Wouldn’t it be better to just put a cosy on it, like the tea cup?

Well, that’s what a geyser blanket is. It’s a cosy for your geyser and its only purpose is to keep that water hotter for longer by insulating the geyser against the cold air around it.

By coordinating the geyser to provide hot water only when it’s needed and not having it switch on unnecessarily throughout the day and night, a home with one geyser can reduce their electricity costs by up to 40%.

The benefits of a geyser blanket

Simply put, the longer that water stays hot, the less electricity you will use, and when the geyser switches back on, not only will it use less electricity but it will also stay on for a shorter period of time.

A geyser blanket alone can save around 8% to 10% on your electricity bill simply by insulating your geyser against the cold and especially in winter.

A geyser blanket alone, however, is a bit like dieting without exercise. Yes, you will lose weight but much slower than you would with exercise.

Enter the geyser timer

By keeping the geyser from switching on when the hot water is not needed and combining that with the insulation provided by the blanket, the electricity savings ‘jump’ considerably from 10% to 28%.

By coordinating the geyser to provide hot water only when it’s needed and not having it switch on unnecessarily throughout the day and night, a home with one geyser can reduce their electricity costs by up to 40%.

Saving Energy is giving away a free geyser blanket with every geyser timer installed in Gauteng before 31 May 2017.

Author: Craig Berman, from Saving Energy

Submitted 30 Mar 17 / Views 326