Rational use of electricity, conserving energy and limiting its use for essential purposes will help bring down energy consumption at homes.
One method is switching over to star-rated, energy efficient home appliances. These bring down the power use by nearly 50 per cent.
In the 200 unit plus segment of domestic electricity consumers, of the total four units per day consumption, a decade-old fridge that runs 24 hours a day consumes around two units and it is half of the total power consumption. If it is replaced by a star-rated one, the consumption will come down.
In the case of a refrigerator that is not star-rated, how can we improve the efficiency so as to reduce its compressor run hours and reduce its daily power consumption?
The only appliance working 24 hours in a day is the refrigerator.
If it is filled up with cool air near zero degrees inside the fridge, frequent opening of the refrigerator door will leak the cool air out and this makes the compressor work more. Call up a reliable mechanic or expert to improve its working condition, check its thermal insulation levels, especially the door seals. Change the settings in the refrigerator thermostat for summer and winter. Many users have never ever touched the knob inside the fridge. This setting can be changed twice a year.
Every component in an appliance has its wear and tear. The worn-out parts should be replaced immediately to sustain the efficiency of the appliance.
The ceiling fan, another common domestic appliance, provides comfort by evaporative cooling and by air circulation.
Better air circulation and evaporative cooling be achieved by increasing the down rod size from 10 inches to 18 inches or to 24 inches for 10 feet height building.
Old and heavy weight fans consume around 100 watts. Five-star rated branded light weight fans consume around 50 watts only.
With mid position setting on electronic regulator, the fan consumes around 30 + watts only. If not star-rated fans, changing to double ball bearings, switch type electronic regulator, checking the capacitor function, and removal of dust will reduce power consumption by nearly 20 per cent.
When the domestic UPS is used, avoid prolonged hours of charging the battery when the power cut is less during the day or night time. Plan to switch off UPS after adequate charging hours in consultation with the vendor. Avoid the standby usage of television by switching off at the mains.
In the case of lighting, try to make use of the reflector shade or dome for CFL as it scatters and diffuses the light.
Consider purchasing emergency torchlight or standby lights that are LED based. Cleaning the suction foot valve of the water pump annually reduces the daily pumping hours.
Ashok Sethuraman, BEE-certified energy auditor
(The authour is a BEE-certified energy auditor)