Get Your Home Load Shedding Ready
Load shedding is a reality that all South Africans have had to live with. While it is an annoyance, there are steps you can take to make your home load shedding ready and make the experience a little less painful.
1. Go Solar
The sun is an incredible natural resource that we don’t take enough advantage of in South Africa. One of the first things you can do to prepare your home for load shedding is to install a solar geyser.
2. Switch to Gas
Another step to make yourself less dependent on electricity is to switch to gas appliances, like your stove, fridge and heaters. You can still use a gas stove when the power goes out, meaning you won’t starve or need to resort to eating cold food for supper. Bonus – get yourself a stovetop kettle so you can still indulge in your favourite tea and coffee.
3. Turn Your Fridge Into a Cooler Box
If getting a gas fridge doesn’t sound like an attractive option to you, we have a low-tech trick to help you keep your fridge cool a little longer. Fill bottles with water and freeze them. Once the power goes off, all you need to do is to transfer them to your fridge. Think of this as a big cooler box.
4. Avoid the Dark
When load shedding takes place at night, you need something to light your house. While candles work great, they do pose a fire risk. Instead of risking this, stock up on battery-powered lanterns to light your house. On average, they generate more light than a candle, making it a better choice.
It’s been around for quite some time in offices across the world, but you can install an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) in your home as well. Traditionally, these are used to keep your desktop PC running when the power trips, giving you enough time to save and shut down. Today you get more powerful versions of UPS that can run your entire house, however this is expensive and impractical. Rather install a UPS to keep your critical electronic devices and appliances running.
6. Take It Outside
Criminals don’t disappear when the power does. To give yourself some peace of mind, install solar powered garden lights so you can see what’s going on around your house. This also helps if you decide to braai during load shedding.
7. Charge It
Make sure you’re always connected by charging your devices before load shedding hits. You will need to keep an eye on the schedule so you know when to start preparing. You could also purchase power banks for your devices to keep them going if you forgot to charge them.
8. Don’t be Bored
It is easy to get bored when the power is out. We have become so used to always having our phones, laptops or even TV on that we are sometimes at a loss for what to do when these aren’t available. We suggest keeping books to read if the power goes off during the day. You could also keep board games to play with your family to entertain yourselves and spend quality time together.
9. Get a Generator
As an alternative to installing a large UPS, you could invest in a generator to run your critical devices and appliances during load shedding. Again, you could run your entire household on a generator, but it would depend on what your budget for a new generator is.
10. Insulate Your Home
To keep your house warm in winter months and cool in the summer without running your heaters or aircon 24/7, make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. Inspect your windows, doors and roof to make sure there are no significant gaps where cool air can escape or enter the room. You can also have insulation material added between your ceiling and roof to seal it off properly and keep you cosy.
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