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How Energy Efficient is My Home?

Energy efficiency in the home is something that is promoted by leading electrical contractors across the country. Everyone wants to do their bit for the environment and save on costs at the same time, and with the right systems, products and approach, you can do exactly that. There are a number of systems in the home that can cause a drain on the national grid as well as your pocket, but there are ways to save too.

  • Heating – home heating can carry most of your electricity bill’s costs. You can save in the following ways:
    • Geyser timer – By investing in a geyser timer you can limit the amount of hours that your geyser is on each day, and you will certainly see a difference in your overall electricity consumption.
    • Load shedding devices for stove, geyser and other high consumption appliances – Implementing your own home load shedding where appliances such as geysers, stoves and underfloor heating can be turned off during peak periods is a great way to save on your heating costs as well as saving cash.
  • Lighting – every home needs sufficient lighting at night and you can save on the costs of electricity if you remember to switch off lights in unused rooms, and also if you consider various lighting alternatives and options such as:
    • Dimmers – these use less power to create soft lighting. Perfect for the bedroom or lounge.
    • Occupancy sensors – these detect presence through motion or sound. If someone enters or is occupying a certain area the light will come on, or when the space is vacant then the lights will switch off automatically.
    • Daylight sensors – these are able to sense when it is daylight and no lighting is required. During the day it will switch off and only come back on when it is required – during the night.
    • LED’s – this type of light uses minimal power and can be operated by battery. LED lights also last for a great deal longer than the average light bulb.
  • External – various items are required to be run outside of the home too. If you want to save on costs, consider the following:
    • Irrigation timer – by installing an irrigation system that can be fitted with a timer you can save on the costs to run the system as well as your overall water consumption.
    • Pool pump timer – a pool pump can be a major contributor to your electricity bill, especially if it is left to run all day. By fitting a timer to the pump you can ensure that the system runs efficiently and without costing too much.

It is important to take on the services of professional electrical contractors when looking to make changes or convert certain areas in the home. Chat to us at Amlec for more useful information and advice.

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Evaluate your Alarm System

Many people do not realise the importance of evaluating their alarm system. What if you need to process an insurance claim and it is rejected? This is one of the major reasons why you need to assess and evaluate your system on a regular basis. While it is always advisable to acquire the services of alarm system installers to assist with such evaluations, there are a few checks that you can manage yourself.

The most important part of your alarm system is your panic buttons! Test each one and ensure your remote panics are working from the furthest point of your premises. This action will also test the communication to the control room.

Making sure that your system is flawless is important. The first thing to check is that you have working infra red sensors to pick up on human movement in all high risk areas. You should have magnetic contact switches installed at every door. All of the equipment that is installed should also be wired with anti-tamper circuits which protect against potential tampering 24 hours a day. All wiring involved should be concealed in a conduit.

To ensure that your transformer, radio, panel and keypad are protected too, you should have them covered by an infra red detector. Make sure that your alarm equipment and system is not in plain sight from the outside and ensure that all the attached items are properly mounted and secured by screws and wall plugs to always ensure the integrity of the system is not compromised.

It is important to check if that the mains transformer should be no less than 40VA. This must be surge protected too. If you are making use of the services of professional alarm system installers, get them to check that the system is not overloaded with too many devices on each zone and that the system has End of Line (EoL) resistors installed.

Don’t be a statistic, cover your basis now with your insurance company. For assistance with evaluating your alarm installation, turn to the professional alarm system installers in the industry – turn to Amlec.

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Electrical Compliance – Your Right to Safe and Hassle-Free Installation

It is important to know your rights when it comes to electrical compliance. The Electrical Installation Regulations Act of 2009 regulates who is authorised to carry out electrical work as well as issuing Certificates of Compliance (CoC) and Test Reports so as to protect the users of electricity. It is important for consumers to understand what this means for them in order to remain compliant to electrical usage and ensure they are protected from liability.

You have a CoC but your installation is not functioning properly.

It is very important for consumers to understand that CoC’s and Test Reports ensure the safety of an installation but not necessarily the functionality. A property may have plug points or light switches that do not fully function while still being certified as compliant.

To ensure the quality of the work request your contractors registration documents from the Department of Labour and always use a contractor registered with the ECB(SA) (Electrical Contractors Boards South Africa) as they will mediate disagreements between contractors and clients and guarantee the work of their members up to R15,000.00

You would like to transfer your Certificate of Compliance when selling your home

You are only allowed to transfer your CoC and Test Report if they are less than two years old otherwise the electrical installation will have to be retested to ensure you are selling a property that excludes you from liability and complies with regulations.

Does CoC cover your appliances?

The Certificate of Compliance and Test Report encompasses the point of origin (DB Board) to the outlet and thus does not include external appliances such as air conditioners, lights, geysers, stoves etc but does include the fixed wired appliances like distribution boards, light switches, socket outlets and wall mounted isolators.

For more information please contact Amlec and speak to a certified electrical contractor for more professional advice. We offer a range of electrical services and only employ certified contractors to ensure your experience with us is stress free.

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Top Ten Myths of LEDs

Myth One: “LEDs give Ugly Light”
Some spectrums of LED have received negative feedback due to their stark intensity but new lighting advances have generated a full visible light spectrum, meaning LEDs now also have warmth and softer overtones.

Myth Two: “LEDs will increase consumption of rare materials”
While LED’ do use rare materials like indium, they are used in such infinitesimal amounts that if the world were to switch to LEDs, the consumption of rare materials would decrease dramatically.

Myth Three: “LEDs have low light output”
Since their first use in smaller products LEDs have proven to have incredible output potential, such as the headlights seen in the Audi A1,  and will in the future only increase in density,  brightness and light output capability.

Myth Four: “LED retrofit lamps don’t work”
Retrofit LED lamps are only a problem when installed incorrectly. A highly qualified professional they will be able to assess your needs and fit your LEDs perfectly in a retrofit fixture without the LEDs overheating,  lickering or any of the other problems seen when cheaper retrofitting is implemented.

Myth Five: “LEDs colour shift with time”

Colour shifting was a problem in the early days when cheaper materials were used, but current LED’s can run for 25,000 hours or more before even a slight variance in colour can be detected.

Myth Six: “LEDs can’t run hot”
The problem with heat in LEDs arises due to the LED chip and package construction. This has become less problematic over time as better materials are utilized in LED production.

Myth Seven: “LEDs have high glare”
Quality LEDs are a less wasteful source of light and actually produce four times less glare than a standard halogen light.

Myth Eight: “LEDs are best left to China”
LED light manufacturing actually requires a deep technical understanding of their complexities to produce a superior product that can live up to its reputation. This means their classification as a mass produced commodity is incorrect.

Myth Nine: “LEDs are expensive”
Many people don’t realise the reimbursement they will receive when using LEDs which use less energy, and have to be replaced less frequently than standard light bulbs. LED’s pay back their purchase tenfold.

Myth Ten: “LEDs are dangerous”
LED light is only dangerous if one was to, as per the conditions of the experiment proclaiming LEDs to be dangerous,  stare into a bulb for twelve hours from four inches away. Otherwise they are perfectly safe for any and all lighting.