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Nedbank’s top tips for greening your home

Nedbank’s top tips for greening your home

Nov 15, 2014

As part of its commitment to being a sustainable bank, Nedbank supports its clients as they take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.

In following this philosophy, Nedbank has released the Carbon Footprinting Guide and the Nedbank Green Living Guide, to enable both businesses and individuals to participate in reducing carbon emissions and committing to sustainable living.

Even the smallest change can make a difference, when enough people make that change – and greening the home is an effective place to start.

How do I green my home?

Did you know that around 29% of the average energy consumption by middle-to-upper-income households is used to heat water in an electric geyser? There are several solutions to this, which will see electricity savings and, of course, more money in your pocket. Start by looking at water heating options that offer immediate savings:

• Solar heating – Solar water heaters can save you between 25% and 40% of the electricity used by conventional geysers. There are various options for homeowners to choose from to take advantage of Africa’s abundant sunshine.
• Heat pumps – These use between 50% and 70% less energy than a traditional electric geyser, and do not require roof space of direct sunlight.
• Geyser settings, timers and insulation – For homes with geysers, reducing the temperature at which the geyser is set can save you around 10% for every 1℃ you reduce -. Installing a geyser timer means you won’t have to pay the costs of your geyser maintaining a high temperature all day, but will enjoy hot water when it’s needed. You could also turn your geyser off manually and back on again an hour before you need it. Whichever method you choose to save on electricity, a geyser blanket is an ideal way to save electricity and cash, as the insulation keeps the geyser hotter longer.

To find out which type of solution best fits your home, call in a consultant and have them give you costs that include the long-term savings on your up-front investment. Click here for info on heating options rebates for heat pumps.

Space heating and cooling

With temperatures dropping drastically during winter nights and rising considerably in summertime, using electric heaters and air conditioners is commonplace – and costly. There are ways of heating and cooling living spaces without overdoing electricity usage. Here are some of them:

• Ceiling insulation – In 2011 it became compulsory for new homes to have ceiling insulation, but adding insulation to older homes is a simple job and can save you a lot of money. Call in a reputable company for a quote and ensure they offer you sustainable options.
• Draft proofing – Gaps in your doorways and windows allow cold air in and heat inside to escape. Sealing tape is easy to use, inexpensive and effective at keeping drafts out.
• Window dressings – Thicker curtains in winter can help to keep the cold out and leaving them open for the sunlight to enter during the day warms up a home – providing you close them as soon as the sun goes down to retain the heat.
• Air conditioners – Electric air conditioners are massive electricity hogs and should be used sparingly, if at all. Use a floor fan when necessary – they use about 100 watts on the highest speed, where an air conditioner can use up to 1 500 watts. If you must use an air conditioner, set it to no more than 10℃ lower than the outside air temperature.
• Use the breeze, it’s free – Open windows and doors at night to let hot air out and make sure they’re open on both sides of your home to encourage a good through-draft. During the hot summer days, blinds and shutters can help to keep direct sunlight out of your living space; and light coloured curtains won’t absorb as much heat as dark ones.

There are many simple ways to use less electricity – which means a cost saving to you while also lessening your impact on the environment. Share these easy-to-implement tips with your family, and have all family members play their part.

For more tips on how you can save energy and costs every day, download the Nedbank Green Living Guide here.

In the next Nedbank article, we will look at sustainable transportation ahead of transport month.

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