Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The secrets of the airing cupboard

It's your turn to wash the dishes.

Approach sink. Turn on hot tap. Add washing-up liquid. Smile at bubbles. It's a bit hot. Add cold water.

Stop. Don't move a muscle. How many time have you done this? And every time you add cold water. Me to.

Then I read Mel Rimmer's blog. She said:

"if you always have to add cold water to your bath or washing-up water, then your water thermostat is too high"

Oh yeah. Why didn't I think of that?

Now hot water matters. You know why? Take a look at this chart from the DTI:

Household energy consumption

As you can see lighting only makes up only 3% of average household energy use. That's tiny, isn't it?

I don't get out of bed for 3%. I want to save 30%. Now hot water, there's an area with potential.

So I decided to turn my hot water down. Here's how to do it if you have an electric immersion heater:

  1. Turn off the power
  2. Find where the electric wire enters the hot water tank
  3. Unscrew the plate/cap that hides the join
  4. Adjust the thermostat with a screwdriver

Mine was set to 60 degrees. We do most of our washing at 40 degrees, so 60 felt a tad excessive. I went for 50 degrees.

That was easy. Cost: nothing. Time taken: 5 minutes. Impact on my lifestyle: nil. My energy-saving campaign is off to a roaring start.

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