Energy Saving Helpful Tips

Cheapest Ways To Heat The Home This Winter.

Brisbane may be well know for its balmy evenings and soaring humidity, but during winter the nights can become much colder than expected. Especially if you live on the Western outskirts in the likes of Ipswich.

Nevermind the impending cold fronts, Queensland’s electricity prices alone are enough to send a shiver down your spine. Currently you’re accustomed to paying almost $335 a year before even turning on a switch, due to the 91.75cents/day service to property fee.

With such costs to the home being unavoidable, it’s more important that ever to take particular care with what power you actually consume around the house. Although reduced electricity prices have been promised in the near future, Queenslanders are still tolerating an average standard tariff fee of 27.92cents/kWh.

The Challenge Of Heating The Home
With winter and the discomfort of cold nights comes a change in household behaviours that lead to dramatic changes in energy consumption. The key point being that devices made to generate heat are some of the largest energy consumers to ever take pride of place in the home.

As a general rule, the back of your hand can be one of the most effective ways to test the energy efficiency of devices around the home. For example, chest freezers and refrigerators are quite substantial consumers of energy in the home. If you were to hold the back of your hand to the side or rear surface of either appliance, you’d notice a reasonable amount of heat. Now compare this test to your ultra thin LED flatscreen TV – it will feel comparably cool.

Size Doesn’t Necessarily Matter When It Comes To Home Heating
Unfortunately, it’s natural instinct to consider size as an important factor when it comes to the energy being consumed by a home appliance. While in many cases, the larger a device the more energy it consumes, the same is not usually the case when it comes to the cheapest ways to heat the home.

Many Queenslanders, especially in the colder parts of Greater Brisbane, make the mistake of heading down to their local store and grabbing a little electric fan heater to place on the floor. Little do they know that considering the kW rating and duty cycle of an appliance is of the utmost importance.

To put this mistake into perspective, a seemingly harmless low profile fan heater is comparably as power hungry as a kettle. With an average power rating between 2000 and 2400 Watts, this heater alone could cost up to a whopping 67cents/hour! Consider that using such an appliance for 3 hours a night in front of the TV during winter, could cost in excess of $180, not to mention everything else running in your home!

Things To Consider When Searching For The Cheapest Ways To Heat The Home
Of course, depending on your circumstances you may be suited to different methods for heating the home and it’s important to consider your individual needs. Needless to say there are endless options on the market leaving you with plenty of choice when it comes to home heating.

Different Ways To Heat The Home:
Portable heaters:

Oil-filled column or fan heaters.
Bar radiator or strip heaters.

Space heaters:

Off-peak heat bank.
Day rate fan heater.

Central heating:

In slab underfloor heating.
Radiant ceiling heating.

The options are almost overwhelming and with one particular flaw when you consider the Queensland climate – you’d be lucky to get value for money. As a Queenslander it would be hard to justify paying for a system or appliance dedicated solely to heating, when in reality you’re only likely to use it for less than a quarter of the year.

Already the options for home heating are somewhat impractical, of course if you were living in the southern states you’d have a much different agenda. Worst of all, we are yet to consider the costs of running a designated heating solution.

Luckily, there is a much more practical solution for Queenslanders and best of all you’ll get year round use out of it.

The Cheapest Way To Heat Your Home In Queensland
I bet you’re well aware that an air-conditioner is almost a necessity when it comes to living comfortably in Brisbane or Ipswich and the surrounding areas. With split-system air-conditioners being one of the most effective means of cooling the home in summer, you’ll be humbled to know that they are also the preferred choice for heating your home in the winter months.
A good quality, energy-efficient Reverse Cycle Split System Air Conditioner is in fact the cheapest way to heat your home and as an added bonus it’s your best cooling option come summer time.

On average, due to inverter technology, well tuned duty cycles and controlled thermostats, reverse cycle split systems are consume only about one-third the power of an electric fan heater that’s only really effective for keeping your feet warm.

Let’s consider the above mentioned floor heater, costing around $180 to run across the span of winter. An adequately sized reverse cycle split system air conditioner would do a much better job of heating a given area and would only cost you around $60 in running costs for winter.

Discuss The Cheapest Ways To Heat Your Home Today
So this winter, consider not only what is the cheapest way to heat the home, but think about meeting year round seasonal requirements with one appliance. Contact Fixzit Trade Services today and discuss with us your needs for keeping warm and cozy this winter.

Not only are we confident in providing a cost effective solution for heating your home this winter, we have a range of excellent cash-back offers from our trusted suppliers:

Mitsubishi: $100 – $400 Cashback.
Fujitsu: $150 – $400 Cashback.
Panasonic: $200 Cashback.
Kelvinator: $100 – $200 Cashback.
With over 30 years experience, Fixzit are Brisbane’s trusted trade services provider. Our expertise spans from Air Conditioning, Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry, Solar and everything in between.

CALL US NOW: 1300 726 806

Summer $avers – How to Save with Your Pool and AC.

November temperatures in Brisbane broke records. The truth is it’s getting hotter and keeping cool has now become a priority. Keeping cool however can become expensive and running an air conditioner and pool pump during the hotter months can mean a bill shock. To avoid this, our Ipswich and Brisbane-based electricians at Fixzit can provide a number of ways to save hip pocket pain, so you’ll be able to stay comfortable without having to resort to a spray bottle and wet tea towel around you neck.

Below we explain why changing to energy an efficient tariff is worth considering so you can save significant money this summer.

Economy Tariff 33 for Pool Pumps and Filtrations Systems
Economy Tariff 33 means that should a pool pump require repair, (more frequently than hot water systems) a pump or pool technician is able to disconnect and reconnect the system, meaning no more calls to an electrician. Because the pool filtration and pump equipment will operate during hours outside of peak times (between 6-9am and 4pm-8pm) the electricity is priced at a cheaper rate. This means over the course of a year pool owners can save around $235.00!

Other ways to save money with pools:
Purchase a pool cover to prevent evaporation when the pool is not in use
Invest in a variable speed pump which is 65-70 per cent more efficient, and quieter to run.
Reduce the time the pump is operating for. Depending on the pump most pools can maintain water quality by 3-4 hours per day for chlorinated pools.
Ways to Save on Air Conditioning costs

If you are upgrading to a new air conditioning system there are many reasons to buy a PeakSmart system. Not only are these more energy efficient, a Peak Smart system will cap usage during peak demand (4-8pm) to ease pressure on networks (and on your power bill!) While still keeping you cool. Better yet, $150.00 rebates exist for systems 4kW and under, $250.00 rebates for systems between 4-10kW and $500.00 rebates for systems over 10kW. To find out more about the PeakSmart positive payback system visit the Energex Website.

You can also save on operating your AC system over summer by:

Closing off areas that do not require cooling
Sealing draughts under doors and around windows
Setting your AC system to 24 degrees.
Turning off the system when you are not in the room.
This summer beat the heat, and the price rises by rethinking how you use run your pool and air conditioner. No matter the time of year the electrical team at Fixzit can provide advice to connect to more economic tariffs and save you money. To find out more call our Brisbane electricians today on 1300 726 806.

Tenant’s Guide to Saving Money on Utility Bills.

Saving Money on Utility Bills

For those renting, it can feel almost impossible to save money on utility bills when you have already cut your usage of electricity and water as much as seems possible. Without the cooperation of your landlord or property manager to make other improvements to the actual home it’s impossible the further reduce utility bills right?

Despite common belief, there are some effective ways you can approach the subject of an energy efficient home with your landlord or property manager. Don’t be discouraged doing this since investing in energy efficient features throughout their home will also benefit the property owner and add considerable value to their investment.
The Australian Tax office also offers tax deductions for efficiency improvements made to rental properties. Any maintenance, repairs and costs like sealing cracks and repairing insulation can be claimed at the end of the financial year. Depreciation benefits of installing a new hot water system and other improvements are available and are worth reminder the property manager or by writing to your landlord directly. Here are some suggestions to make changes to some of the biggest things which determine the costs of quarterly utility bills.

Reducing Heating and Cooling Costs

1. Check that there are no gaps under doors by plugging gaps with draughts runners.

2. Fit window furnishings if there are none to reduce heat loss and heat gain.

3. If air conditioning is included in the property ensure the landlord arranges regular servicing and cleaning of filters to maintain efficiency.

4. Reduce your reliance on artificial heating and cooling by wearing clothing appropriate for the season.

Reducing Lighting Costs

1. Replace halogen and incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s.) Many of these can be replaced yourself, but seek the advice of an electrician to make sure you choose compatible lamps.

2. Trim vegetation blocking natural light into the home and open curtains and blinds to allow as much natural light into the home as possible.

Reducing Water Costs

If the rental home does not include water as part of the rent and the cost of water consumption is passed onto the tenant, it is the requirement of the landlord to ensure the property is water efficient. This means in Queensland the landlord is obligated under the RTA (Residential Tenancy Authority) to fit water efficient fixtures throughout the property.

If these have not been fitted, you are allowed to arrange to fit these yourself and be reimbursed for the cost. Your property manager should coordinate this on your behalf.

Other measures to reduce water costs include:

• Reducing the temperature of hot water in the hot water system to 60 degrees.

• Reducing your hot water consumption by changing usage habits.

Are Your Utility Costs Increasing?

If utility costs in your rental home seem to be increasing for no explicit reason it may be because of a gas or water leak on the property. You can check the readings of water meter and gas meter when both are not in use. If the reading increases overnight, there is a likely to be a leak and must be repaired at the cost to the landlord. Any gas leaks can be dangerous and must be repaired quickly. Find out more about detecting gas leaks here.

Other things you can do:

Energy Efficient Tariffs – If a lot of energy is used in your home outside of peak hours (4-8pm) it’s worth connecting to an energy efficient tariff. The electrician your property manager deals with should be able to arrange this connection for a small charge.

Air Conditioning – If your home is rented with air conditioning it is the responsibility for the landlord to ensure the unit is maintained and efficient. Homes command a higher rent with air conditioning, making the landlord’s responsibility to provide a system that works efficiently for the space it is to heat or cool.

For more advice and strategies to reduce your utility bills for people renting, the Australian Government has developed the RENTERS GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE LIVING. For the professional services to repair, replace, improve or upgrade the way your home uses utilities, the Fixzit’s electricians, gasfitters and plumbers can offer more advice to reduce your utility bills to save you considerably. To find out more call us today on 1300 726 806

LED lighting the future for energy efficient homes in Brisbane.

Modern homes are going green. But that doesn’t mean that those living in older properties need to miss out on the green revolution and homes that are more sustainable and energy efficient. A home’s lighting is one easiest area where electricians can install options that ease the pressure on rising power bills and reduce their environmental impact at the same time. LED lighting has improved in both its capabilities and more and more people are turning towards the light and installing this lighting option in new and existing homes.

How do LED lights work?
Without getting too technical, LED (light emitting diodes) lights emit light when electricity passes through a diode. These diodes are being manufactured in larger numbers all the time for many purposed including computers and TV screen and now the technology is starting to become more widely used in the lighting industry.

How is LED Lighting the option of the future?
According to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, LED lighting is predicted to dominate the lighting market and is outshining rivals. LED lighting has already surged in the US market and is forecast to have a 36 per cent share of the lighting market by 2020 and a whopping 70 per cent by 2030, according the US Department of Energy forecast report. There are similar projections in the Australian market, due to its increasing affordability and superior energy efficiency compared to other traditional lighting options

How is LED lighting more energy efficient?
Modern LED lights are superior when compared to incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps. While they are comparable with energy use with Compact Flourescent Lamps (CFL’s), the energy needed to create them, transport them and is far less making them overall more environmentally friendly than other lighting options. They also have a longer lifespan than other lighting options, lasting more than three times the lifespan and over twenty times the life of incandescent bulbs.

Yes but aren’t LED lights an expensive option?
While LED lights are still more expensive to supply and install than other options, a global supply of LED chips means prices are falling. Combine that with the fact users save money on replacement costs and lower electricity bills and over time LED lights become a economically appealing option for homeowners, despite the higher initial outlay.

To find out about installing LED lighting in your home speak to our team of electricians here at Fixzit who are specialised in residential and commercial lighting projects. Call us today on 1300 726 806.

Guide to Buying Energy Efficient Appliances.

Dishwashers, air conditioners, hot water systems and fridges are some of the biggest energy consuming appliances in our homes. Older models can be particularly inefficient and the costs of keeping these running can quickly mount up, tipping the scales in favour of replacing them with newer more energy efficient appliances. But before you go out and buy new appliances, the Fixzit appliance repair and installation experts share some tips to guide you through the process of buying an energy efficient replacement.

How to buy energy efficient appliances
– Buy the highest star rating you can afford. The higher the energy star rating the lower the appliance will cost to run. Each additional star reduces energy consumption from that appliance by around 20 per cent annually.

– Don’t buy a bigger fridge, washing machine or air conditioner that you need. This will just cost more than is necessary to run – even if it has a higher star rating.

– Use the energy rating website to compare and investigate the expected running costs of your appliance model of choice.

– Look for water efficiency including washers with economy cycles.

– Consider alternatives to electric clothes dryers e.g Gas-fired and heat pump models. While they may are more expensive to buy and install they will be far cheaper to run. Look for dryers with moisture sensors which will reduce heat when it’s not needed, while making the most of residual heat.

– Look for Dishwashers with an economy load setting for smaller loads and a high water star rating.

– Buy a reverse cycle air conditioner with inverter technology. The heating component of these is three times more efficient than electric bar heaters.

– Only buy a fridge with at least a 4 star rating. Look for energy efficient features including thermostat control and door alarms.

– Running a bar fridge or excess air conditioners can be unnecessary if they are not needed by your family size and needs. Don’t over or undersize. This is very important. A fridge or air conditioner that is too small will struggle to cool adequately and may end up costing more than a slightly larger model to run.

Depending on what appliance you buy should determine what features to look for, and how much it will cost to run. We strongly recommend our Brisbane customers compare different models on the Australian Government’s energy rating website linked to above.

For all your appliance repair and installation needs, contact Fixzit today on 1300 726 806.

10 ways to cut Air Conditioning running Costs.

Cut Air Conditioning running Costs

It’s been another scorching summer, and there’s a good chance you’ve been thanking your air conditioning unit for the cool relief it has offered. But if you haven’t paid much attention to HOW you’ve been using your AC, you might fall victim to a sky high energy bill, especially because running an air conditioning system is the single most energy hungry appliance in most homes.

Since there’s nothing worse than a horror hangover from your next power bill, here’s 10 ways to reduce the running costs of your air conditioning proudly brought to you by the air conditioning servicing and installation experts here at Fixzit.

1. Close windows and doors –
The bigger the area that needs to be cooled, the harder your air conditioner has to work (and the more energy that it will consume.) For this reason it makes sense to close off the area that you want to cool by shutting windows and doors.

2. Run the air conditioning unit @ 24°C –
This is the most energy efficient temperature to operate an AC system, while still offering cool comfort. Setting the thermostat cooler than this will add another 10 per cent to the running costs of your system for each additional degree.

3. Only use the AC when necessary –
Its common knowledge but the less you use AC, the more you will keep your AC bill under control. On slightly cooler summer days, using fans instead (especially for smaller rooms) can be an effective alternative to your AC.

4. Shut the blinds/curtains –
In addition to closing windows, shutting the blinds or curtains helps act as a thermal barrier and will reduce the amount of heat that is transferred into the home.

5. Invest in a more energy efficient AC system –
If you’re air conditioner is rattling, creaking and purchased last millennium, it might be time to invest in a new energy efficient system with the latest energy efficient technology. This can include a higher energy star rating, an inverter system and air conditioners with PeakSmart capabilities.

6. Keep your system maintained and serviced –
Poorly maintain systems costs more to run. Therefore cleaning your air conditioning filters along with the outdoor condenser unit will cost less to operate than a unit struggling with no servicing or new refrigerant. Make sure the outdoor unit is not being blocked by debris, leaves or tall grass and kept in the shade

7. Don’t leave the system running when out
It’s a myth that keeping your air con on saves more money than turning it on and off. If your air conditioner is on it is constantly working to keep the home at a steady temperature whereas if it’s turned off when you are out, the home will gradually heat up and stay at whatever the ambient temperature is. It’s important to turn your system off if you go out, or are not in the home if you’re serious about saving on your AC bill.

8. Don’t place appliances near the indoor unit
These can be incandescent light bulbs, other lamps or TV’s. Don’t add extra heat to your home if possible by using appliances like the iron, stove and washers and dryers in the early morning or late evening. Turn off computers and other appliances if they are not being used.

9. Shade areas around the windows
Create shade around the outside of your home as a long term strategy to keep your household cooler. This can be achieved with trees and plants or through overhanging window awnings.

10.Open windows and doors and catch the breeze –
If the outside temperature is cooler than the inside temperature. Often people still keep their AC running when they don’t realise the outside temperature has actually dropped.

There’s no doubt that air conditioning is a lifesaver here in Brisbane especially during summer. Being able to rely on your AC system for those stinking hot days can keep you comfortable, and help you get a good night’s sleep.

For all your AC needs, the Fixzit air conditioning team are the ones you can count on to keep you comfortable no matter what the time of year. Call us on 1300 726 806 today.

10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Bill in the Laundry.

Cut Your Energy Bill in the Laundry

Our washing machines and clothes dryers can be some of the most energy hungry appliances in our homes, and with so many different models on the market, it literally pays to consider the model you choose, and how your appliances will be used.

Our Brisbane appliance repair and servicing specialists here at Fixzit explain how you can save money in the laundry and use your appliances in the most efficient way with these energy efficient tips below.

1. Use cold water wherever possible when washing clothes. If you prefer washing in hot water, it makes sense to connect your hot water system to an energy efficient tariff.

2. Wash full loads instead of many smaller loads.

3. If your washing machine has auto load sensing or load selection features use these to reduce unnecessary water and energy use.

4. Front loading washing machines typically use a lot less water and energy.

5. Buy a washing machine and dryer with the highest energy star rating that you can afford.

6. Dryers use a lot of energy so only use them when needed to dry clothes quickly or in wet periods when it can be hard to get clothes dry.

7. Clean lint filters every time before using a dryer so they run more efficiently.

8. Don’t set the dryers timer for long periods of time i.e Anything 1 hour or over. Instead set at 30 minute increments and check to see if your clothes actually need longer.

9. Look for dryers with reverse tumbling features, easily accessible lint filter and special fabric cycles to save energy.

10. When it comes to ironing clothes, use the correct temperature setting on your iron and if your patience can manage it iron large amounts at the same time instead of using energy reheating the iron each time something new needs ironing.

If you are looking at buying a new washing machine or clothes dryer, it’s a good idea to use the Australian Government’s appliance energy calculator to compare energy use of nearly all brands and to see how much the appliance will cost you to run each year.

If your washing machine is not running like it should it many cases it makes sense to have it looked at before going out to buy a new one. Call the appliance servicing and repair specialists at Fixzit today on 1300 726 806

Save money and be rewarded with your hot water system.

Hot Water System

Yes you read correctly: Queenslanders can now enjoy reduced costs on their hot water systems and if that isn’t enough of an incentive, they’ll also receive a one hundred dollar reward for doing so. Thanks to Energex, homeowners can now save money by switching the tariff that their hot water system is connected to with the help of one of Fixzit’s Brisbane electricians. We answer some common questions about the Energex Hot water rewards scheme in our latest post.

How does the scheme work to address peak demand?
Hot water systems are one of the most power hungry pieces of equipment in the home. By permanently connecting systems to off peak tariffs this reduces peak demand and eases pressure on the energy networks by reducing the amount of time electricity supply is made available. These off peak energy tariffs are priced at lower levels to reflect this off-peak usage.

What kinds of hot water systems are eligible?
Most new hot water systems can be connected to an economy tariff. These include solar hot water systems with an electric boost and electric systems depending on their size.

How much money will I save on energy bills?
There are two different tariffs available depending on the size of your system. The two different tariffs are called the Economy tariff 33 which saves over 30 per cent on annual hot water usage costs. The other tariff is available is the Super Economy Tariff 31 where homeowners can save around 50 per cent of annual usage. To connect to the Super economy tariff 31 homeowners need a tank that is minimum 250 litres of storage. Based on an average household of four people, homeowners can expect to save around 220 dollars each year on their energy bills.

How do I claim the 100 dollar reward?
Once your system has been connected and you can provide documentation to us electrician you will be able to apply online and within 6 weeks you’ll have the bonus deposited directly into your bank account.

You can start saving money now when it comes to the hot water in your home. As well as carrying out hot water repairs in Brisbane, our plumbers and electricians can get your system connected to an off peak tariff so you can save money and start being rewarded today!

For more information about what systems are eligible and how to apply for the reabte visit the Energex Postive Rewards website. Alternatively you can call the friendly Fixzit team today on 1300 726 806 and start saving money on your hot water bill!

Be rewarded with PeakSmart Air Conditioning Technology.

PeakSmart Air Conditioning Technology

Have you heard about PeakSmart technology? It’s one of the latest developments in air conditioning technology, which makes smart sense in the face of rising electricity prices. There are even financial benefits for homeowners who choose to adopt PeakSmart technology in their homes! Yes we did say financial benefit – so read on to find out how you can be rewarded from your air conditioning.

What is peak demand?
During summer as more and more people adopt the use of air conditioners in their home this creates a peak demand of energy use as people come home to turn off their TVs and air conditioning systems. Increasing energy infrastructure to address this key demand is one way to manage this peak demand and changing the ways people use their energy through adding PeakSmart technology is another way to reduce pressure on energy networks during times of peak demand.

How does Peak Smart Technology Work?
PeakSmart technology works by placing a signal receiver on a split system air conditioning unit which during times of peak usage is engaged remotely by the energy provider to cap usage.

Does it affect the way I enjoy my air conditioning?
No. PeakSmart technology will not impact on the effectiveness of your system. If usage is capped it is typically only on a few days each year and only for a short period. The technology is designed to be set and then forgotten about so people will not notice a difference in comfort level. It simply changes the way the system operates temporarily to ease pressure on energy networks as the system will continue to cool and circulate air in your home and comfort will not be compromised.

What are the rewards for installing peak smart technology?
Energex provides $250 dollar rebates for each South East Queensland eligible split system air conditioning units, (up to 3) and $500 dollar rebates for ducted air conditioning users. Most newer models have the capabilities. Click here for the full list.

Still have more questions about this technology? Visit the FAQ’s on the Energex Website or call the team of Fixzit air conditioning team to find out if your system is eligible. If you’re thinking about upgrading your system, now is the time to do so with generous rebates and smarter more efficient systems that will continue to save you money with their ongoing efficiency.

For new air conditioning supply and installation in Brisbane call Fixzit today, your local air conditioning experts. Ph 1300 726 806.