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We all want to save money on our power bill and this is an ongoing challenge for most households. In such a technologically advanced age one would think there would be an easy solution to help us all save a lot of energy with ease.

One of the more affordable and easy to install options I’ve come across is using timers on electrical appliances. There are a couple of options available:

  1. Independent timers that plug in to the wall and act as a go-between for your electrical appliances
  2. Hard wired timers that an electrician can install for you and are permanent

Independent Timers

The first set of timers are very affordable and can be fitted for use with a variety of appliances throughout your home. For example the latest plasma and LED TVs can use a considerable amount of power even on standby, as can high end stereos. In order to minimise this wastage why not nip down to your local electronics store and plug the TV into the wall via one of these timers? Rather than having to worry about switching these appliances off every evening, you can simply set the timer until 11pm at night – depending on when the last couch potato in your household typically goes to bed in your household!

There are a number of similar applications for these independent timers and a variety of models suitable for every budget. They range from simple mechanical options through to the high-end multi plug units with digital displays.

Hard-wired timers

For other household items such as heated towel rails there are hard-wired units available that will set these appliances to turn on and off automatically at set intervals. We have one installed that switches our heated towel rail on for two four hour durations each day – which is just the right amount of time to dry our towels without wasting power. The major advantage of these hard wired options are that they are less obtrusive, because they are mounted in the wall.

Security and Home Automation

The timers described in this article can also be used in a security capacity and to perform simple home automation tasks.

A common example is setting a lamp to come on at a certain time before you come home from work or while on holiday to make it look like someone is home. You can also do the same with a radio or TV to take this to another level – what better way to deter burglars than having lights turning on and the TV blaring at the same time?

For an example with a home automation twist, set a heater to come on an hour before you get home from work in the winter, or a fan in summer time. Most modern air conditioner/heat pump units also feature a built in timer with the capability to turn appliances on and off. Make use of it to cool the house down in the late afternoon after the hottest part of the day!

The other possibility with free standing timers is to set intervals for the timer to switch on and off. I bought two PDL units for about $4 from a local electronics store a few weeks ago and they include the ability to set 15 minute intervals for switching the device on and off. This approach is guaranteed to deter even the most high-tech thieves!

So whichever option you choose, or perhaps a combination of both approaches for the appliances and devices throughout your home, get saving today using timers!

This article was supplied by Stargate Electrical, with industry insights from an Electrician Auckland with over 30 years experience.