Household Electrical Appliances
Home improvement and household appliances news and updates

Is your Smart meter being used in the right way?

If you opted to have a smart meter fitted you may be enjoying not having to give meter readings over the phone or wait for the knock at the door from the electricity or gas company wanting to come in and take the reading from the meters.
This is only one of the advantages that a smart mete can offer and it is important to make sure that you understand how it works and the functionality to allow you to start accurately budgeting and start cutting down on your bills.
The smart meters are designed to show you what you are instantly using in the home and what your running costs are. The smart meter will show you the amount of gas and electric you are using at that time (often kw/h or £/hr) and you can then see the impact using your kettle or having your heating clicked up is having on your overall usage. Often the smart meters do not show you the daily rate you may be being charged and it is easy to forget that. You may be surprised when your bill comes through higher than you had anticipated because you did not factor in the standing charge.
If you notice your meter is showing a higher price per hour than you would like, start to look around your home to see what you could turn off that may reduce the cost. Some smaller items may not seem to make much of a difference on their own but could cut down the costs when accumulated.

Posted in Energy Efficiency by Linda. Comments Off on Is your Smart meter being used in the right way?

Energy efficient Christmas lights

This time of year we see hundreds of houses donned with festive lights, but some people simply don’t realise the cost of lighting their house up of the Christmas period. In the UK Christmas lights are getting more extravagate and people are opting not only to add lights to their Christmas tree but also to the front of their homes and gardens. If you are not careful you may find yourself with an even bigger winter electricity bill than usual.
Before you pull out the same old lights that you have been using for years, just check if they are LED. LED lights are much more efficient than standard light bulbs and they also do not get hot giving that added peace of mind that small children will not get burnt and reducing the risk of fires. The majority of Christmas lights are now LED but if the lights are very cheap you may find that they are not so it is always worth double checking.
Fitting timer switched to your lights will allow them to come on and off at certain times so you don’t have to worry about remembering to do it. You can also use battery lights that may cost slightly more to run (in terms of the cost of the batteries) but at least you know how much they are costing you each time you have to replace the batteries.

Posted in Energy Efficiency by Linda. Comments Off on Energy efficient Christmas lights

How to dispose of old furniture

It is very easy to quickly accumulate old furniture and items that we no longer want or need in our homes and the longer this goes on the more space they take up and the harder the task becomes to have a clear out. When the time comes that you no longer want or need an item you think straight away about how you are going to dispose of it. Some things may need to go in the bin or household recycling but others may require a bit more thought. If you like crafts and decorating then you may be tempted to try and upcycle it. Many household items can be given a new lease of life with a coat of paint and even if you do not want it you may find that you can sell it.

With places like Facebook market, EBay and Gumtree it is even easier now to sell items you no longer have use for and get a bit of money back.  Think carefully when you are creating your ad and always include good quality images. Be sure to point out any damage as you will only waste yours and the potential buyer’s time if you do not.



Posted in Disposal by Linda. Comments Off on How to dispose of old furniture

Making the most of your log burner

Log burners can be a perfect addition to any home. They can give a real homely feeling to any room and often people fall in love with the natural wood burning smell that they give off along with the therapeutic abilities of the appearance of the flames. When using a log burner you need to try and make sure you get the most out of the heat that is being produced to keep your house warmer for longer.

One way in which you may want to make use of a log burner is to have it linked to your central heating system, meaning that when the fire is alight, the heat is also being used to heat up the water in your home and radiators. This means long after the fire has gone out, the heat is still being dispersed throughout the home.

Make sure you invest in some good quality wood for burning. If the wood takes longer to burn then it will last longer and therefore produce heat for longer. You will often need different types of wood for burning as opposed to starting the fire in the first place.

A log burner fan can also help as it pushes the rising heat from the back of the fire into the room so it is not lost.


Posted in Energy Efficiency by Linda. Comments Off on Making the most of your log burner

How to choose the best microwave

A microwave is a common appliance in many households. It can be handy to quickly warm up a dinner later in the evening, cook beans or to make more complicated meals. The best microwaves make light work of heating and defrosting, and you can rely on them to cook and thaw food properly. Some Microwaves double up as mini ovens which can be handy if you are trying to cook a lot with only a small oven space.

You may assume that the best microwaves will be the most expensive but this is not always the case. Each microwave had a power rating in KW’s. The higher this rating is the quicker it will be to cook, or warm food. To truly find out which microwave is best for you, you need to do your research and read plenty of reviews. For simply tasks such as cooking a jacket potatoes, reheating food and defrosting, a standalone microwave is probably the best option. If you want to be able to do a bit more such as roast or brown food, then you will probably find a combi microwave (which combines a conventional microwave, grill and oven in one), the best. These are usually more expensive but has a vast amount of functions available. They are often a little hard to use to start with, but once you learn how to do each of the cooking styles, it can make life a lot easier.




Posted in Appliances by Linda. Comments Off on How to choose the best microwave