Humans Let Us All Waste Water.

This might be the most important blog post I will ever write here on the blog. I ask everyone to link to it, stumble it, digg it, do anything you can to get this post in front of people – the more people who read it, the more likely they will throw out their old – and NEW – top load washing machines which are wasting an incredible amount of water – and hopefully some of those people will begin to pester their political candidates about outlawing these machines entirely.

The Truth Hurts –

I’m sure people who own top load washing machines will be upset when they read this. Don’t blame yourself – you were not educated properly – you did not know most of what I am about to tell you. I’m sorry that you bought a top load machine. I’m sorry that it is *legal* for you to buy a top load machine. It should not be, and I’m about to tell you why.

Many Salespeople Take The Route Of Least Resistance

I’ve mentioned before that I worked in sales for a long time. Over the years I would have sold over a hundred thousand washing machines at least. As the years went by the percentage of machines which were front load became higher and higher – yet there were still people who wanted to buy top load washing machines. A lot of salespeople would simply ask “what kind of machine do you want” and if top load was the answer they never mentioned anything about front loaders.

But Not Me –

I never took the easy road on this topic because it did not sit well with my conscience – I always pointed out the following –

  • Top load washing machines use 2-3 times the water a front loader uses.
  • We’re not talking a small difference – the average top load uses 150-200 litres of water per wash. A front load uses between 40-80 litres of water.
  • Front Load washers are less harsh on your clothes.
  • Front Load washers clean your clothes better.
  • Front Load washers use less detergent – and there are models on the market where you DO NOT NEED to use detergent AT ALL, though you rarely get that information given to you.
  • Top Loader manufacturers do some tricky things to make their machines seem to be using less water than it truly does.

And yet after all that some people still wanted to purchase a brand new top load washing machine which would sit in their home wasting water for the next 2-20 years. Is it any wonder we have a water problem here in this country?

This Allergy May Come To You As A Surprise –

If you have a family member who is allergic to “detergent” and you’re washing with a top load? Chances are they’re not allergic to detergent at all. They’re probably allergic to the dust, dirt, pollen and various other particles which are trapped within the fibres of your clothes. They’re getting a rash because their clothes are not clean – even though they *look* clean to the human eye.

How Top Loads Wash –

Your top load machine takes your clothes and “agitates” them around, trying to get the dirt out of the clothes. Once it has done this, it drains the water – complete with dirt and detergent – back through your clothes, essentially using your clothes as a filter. All the dirt and detergent ends up back in your clothes. It then fills up for another rinse – and then does the exact same thing. All that machine does is move dirt and detergent around, breaking the dirt up to make it smaller so you can’t see it. You are essentially wearing filth. How do you like them apples?

The “Eco” Option –

Some top load machines now offer an “eco” option. The eco option usually means that once the wash water is spun out, it keeps the bowl spinning holding the clothes against the side of the bowl while spraying water onto the clothes from the inside. The theory of this is the water then gets pushed through the clothes due to the spinning action and rinsing out the dirt and detergent.

Of course this theory may fail if you have items of clothing that don’t allow the water to flow through – clothes stuck behind those articles would not be rinsed at all. This option uses 1/3 of the water normally used to rinse the clothes. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this option is something you would want to use – it is not very realistic to expect consumers to use it if their clothes don’t come out clean.

Excuses, Excuses..

Some of the excuses people give for not buying a front load are simply laughable. People say things like –

It’s More Bending For Me And My Back Can’t Take It

Actually, it is LESS bending if you purchase a stand for the machine to sit on. If you place the machine on a cupboard (usually around $199-350 from most electrical retailers) you can stand straight, put your clothes basket below the opening and simply pull the clothes out, letting them fall into the basket.

Alternatively, you can do what I did almost for free, put a fluffy rug on the floor and get down on your knees to pull the washing out. Your back will be perfectly straight. The only thing bending in both the examples I just gave will be your arm as you pull the clothes out.

To get things out of your top load you have to reach down into it, which is a different kind of bending all together. You then have to lift wet, heavy items up, out, and into the washing basket. Ask your chiropractor how good that is for your back!

A Top Loader Is What I’m Used To –

Battered wives are used to abuse. Does that mean they should continue to take it? You have a responsibility as a resident of this country – and a resident of this earth – to do everything you can to reduce your water use. To waste water because you are “used” to a top load is a poor excuse, no?

Will you be used to water restrictions? Will you be used to not being able to water your lawn and having to rip it up and replace it with paving? Will you be used to dead plants on your patio? Will you be used to brown golf courses, football ovals and parklands because nobody can afford to water them? Will you be used to empty dams? Will you be used to paying higher prices for water – and everything that needs water like crops, meat, fish, wood and the list goes on – in years to come? All of those are direct results of your reluctance to change.

I’ve Heard Bad Things About Front Loaders –

I’ve heard bad things about the drought. I’ve heard of the heartache it is causing farmers to have to go out and shoot their livestock. I’ve heard about crops lost due to not being able to water them. I’ve heard about increased salinity in our vital rivers. I’ve heard farmers want to increase the price of milk because it is more expensive to feed their livestock due to drought affected crops. I’ve seen the Murray River with my own eyes. I’ve seen dams at half their capacity.

Yes, when front loaders first arrived in this country over 20 years ago we got Europe’s off casts. They were not the best of machines – yet many of them still lasted 20 years or more. The machines today are a huge improvement. Don’t let an offhand comment at a dinner party years ago influence your decision *today*.

I Can’t Understand The Cycles –

That’s why manufacturers invented instruction books. Did you know my other half can tell me exactly how many rinses there are in each cycle of our machine? He read the book. He always reads the book. Everything you may ever want to know about your machine is inside the book. If you can’t read, ask someone to read it to you.

I’ve Heard About Over-Sudsing –

Front load washing machines do not need much detergent. Of course precisely because nobody reads the book, people just throw exactly how much powder they are used to into the machine. Strangely, this causes a SHEDLOAD of suds to appear! It is easily fixed – use less detergent in a front load machine. I use about a teaspoon of detergent, that’s all that is needed. But detergent manufacturers will tell you otherwise.. hmm, could it be they want you to buy more detergent?

If you’ve bought yourself a Miele front loader, don’t bother with detergent at all. Where you would put detergent, you can squeeze in half a lemon, or use a teaspoon of vanilla essence just to give it a nice fragrance. Your Miele washes so well it doesn’t need any help.

I Don’t Want To Buy It Without Trying It –

No problem. Give the manufacturer of the machine you are thinking of buying a call and ask if you can drop by and do a load of washing at their office. Many manufacturers welcome people with open arms and have machines set up there specifically for this purpose – Miele is a good example. If you ask really nicely they might do a special trick for you – they will let you see what is being washed OUT of your clothes. I have seen it with my own eyes – filthy, soapy, terribly dirty water. That is what made me change to a front loader.

If the manufacturer is too far away, contact your local retailer and ask if any of the manufacturers are running a “Money Back Guarantee” where you can try it for a certain amount of days and return it if you don’t like it. I’m certain you will, but if it gives you peace of mind to know you can return it, I’m all for that.

I Can’t Throw Something In –

Some people use the excuse that they can’t open the door once the machine starts washing to throw in a sock they missed as an excuse not to buy a front loader. I’m not joking. I wish I were. So in essence, their lack of organization is lowering the levels in our dams. I have two things to say about this –

1. Many machines now allow you to open the door once the wash has started.
2. Put the sock aside for the next load. If you can’t live without one sock you don’t have enough socks. Buy a few more pairs. Rivers have socks for about $2 a pair and they’re excellent socks, they last ages.

They Take A Long Time To Wash –

These days most front load machines have a quick wash option – mine does a 15 minute express 2kg wash, the Miele does a 40 minute full load wash. All top loaders are now taking longer to wash than they used to – some are up to 45-50 minutes – due to trying to lessen the amount of water used.

They Don’t Do A Big Load –

You can now get front loaders which will do anything from a 5kg load to a 10kg load.

They Are Too Expensive –

These days most front loaders start around the $650 mark – a lot cheaper than ever before. There are top loaders which are more expensive than that.

How Front Loaders Wash –

The explanation is a little more complicated. I found a great site which explains it better than I can – How Do Front Loaders Wash – your clothes will be a lot cleaner and also not “agitated” which means they last longer. Front loaders can spin at higher speeds, meaning your drying time is lower. They also use a lot less electricity – even though they heat the water to the exact temperature they want to use. They are water efficient, energy efficient and tend to be more reliable – less breakdowns because of the way they work.

Front Loaders Use –

  • Less water
  • Less Electricity
  • Less Detergent

Can any of those excuses above truly justify wasting water, electricity and putting more detergent into our environment?

So How Much Water Can It Save –

Let me blow your mind with some staggering figures. If you took a street of 50 houses with washing machines, what would the water usage be for top loaders VS front loaders? Let’s say our street all does one load of washing today.

Top load – average 160 litres water per 7.5kg wash. (the older machines use more than this)

160 x 50 houses = 8,000 litres – in one day.

Front load – average 60 litres water per 7.5kg wash.

60 x 50 = 3,000 litres – in one day.

Now let’s say our street does one load of washing a day, every day for a year.

Top Load – 8,000 litres a day.

8,000 x 365 = 2,920,000 litres of water

Front load – 3,000 litres a day.

3,500 x 365 = 1,095,000 litres of water.

2,920,000 – 1,095,000 = 1,825,000 WASTED litres of water.

How Many Homes In Australia?

At the last census in Australia, there were 8,426,559 homes. Queensland is currently on level 5 water restrictions. They have 1,660,750 homes. Imagine the water wastage if even half of those homes are using top load washing machines. The figures we spoke about were for 50 homes.

Why Isn’t Something Being Done?

  1. Manufacturers are playing tricks to make their top loaders seem like they use less water – thus tricking consumers into thinking they are water efficient.
  2. Nobody is aware of the facts of how much water these machines actually waste. Yet people are encouraged to spend less time in the shower!
  3. People believe in personal choice. As yet, no government has the balls to say we’re outlawing top load washing machines. So it is up to you the buyer to make a good choice.

America, You’re Next –

America is the country with the most top loaders in the world. Front Loaders have not been presented as an option to most consumers – it is time for consumers to step up and ask for the product. There is now a drought in Atlanta – they could probably stretch that three months of water left to six or more if everyone had a front loader.

What You Can Do –

  • Spread the word about this blog post.
  • Contact your local politicians – it’s election time. Email them a copy of this article. Ask what they are going to do about it.
  • Ask your politicians why there isn’t a rebate for purchasing a water efficient machine (Sydney Water offer it)
  • Ask your politicians to commit to holding top load washer manufacturers to a higher standard of truth about how much water their machines use. The “eco” function should not be what their machines are rated on.
  • Throw out your top load machine TODAY and buy a water efficient front loader. Yes, this costs money. Yes, this takes effort. It is worth it in the long run. Stand up and refuse to waste any more water.
  • If you can’t do the above right now today, make a commitment to purchasing a front loader the next time you need to buy a washing machine
  • Start putting aside $1 a day, $1 a week, whatever suits you, so that you’ll be in a financial position to buy the front loader when the time comes
  • Also commit to not fixing your top load machine when it breaks down – take the money you would have used to do that and put it towards a front loader
  • Encourage friends and family to make similar commitments.

Further Reading –

Stumble, Link, Discuss –

Can you take a moment to do anything you can to get this post in front of people. Mention it in forums you belong to. Stumble it. Post about it on your own blog.

People might not like what they read, but it might be the start of change for the better. If just one house that washes daily goes from a machine that uses 200 litres a wash to a machine that uses 60 it will save 51,100 litres of water. That alone is worth me writing this article. I am hopeful it will be a lot more houses than that, so help me get the message out there.

The Time For Excuses Is Over, It Is Time To Make Real Changes –

Before our dams run dry and our lives change forever. I’m not kidding. If you want to see what life would be like without water, try it for just one day. Don’t use a single tap. Don’t flush your toilet. Don’t wash clothes. Don’t water your plants. Now imagine that every day, and think about whether the cost of buying a front loader right now today is worth it compared to the option of running out of water. Some places in the country are close to empty dams. Lakes have dried up. Stock has been killed because farmers can’t afford to feed and water them.

Water is essential for everything we do every day –

Stop and think about it for a moment. All the food you eat needs water in order to survive – even grain and vegetables. Our bodies need water. Our cars need water, though you can use coolant but how environmentally unfriendly is that? We need water for wood to grow, for industries to function, for wild birds and animals, for tourism, for ecosystems. Our earth needs water, and we need to be more careful how we use it. Wasting large amounts of it on washing.. seems crazy to me.

Your Thoughts –

What do you think about all this? Is this article eye opening to you? Were you aware of these facts? Will it change what you do? Will it change what you buy the next time you want to purchase a washing machine?

The comments section is open. I welcome all discussion – I do not welcome personal attacks and will delete any comments which cross that line, you have been warned. Discuss the issues, don’t attack people. ;)

Angry Snoskred, country life, electrical appliances, environment

The Much Awaited Miele Condenser Dryer Post..

Thanks everyone for all the emails asking where is the Miele post! The truth is, I was too busy using the new appliances to write about them. So what is a Condenser Dryer, how does it work, and what good is it? Pay close attention because I am about to tell you all the secrets and why it is worth buying one. Most of the images in this post can be clicked on to see a larger image.

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It works by taking the moist, warm air from inside the dryer to this little unit you see below – it looks a bit like the radiator from the front of your car.

mielethingy

Air from the room the dryer is located in is on the other side of the fins and the difference in temperature magically makes the moisture turn into water droplets.

What Does It All Mean?

– It means the drying is done at much cooler temperatures

– Fabrics you would not normally tumble dry can be safely tumble dried

– It is less harsh on your clothes, which means they last longer

– There is no need to vent the dryer at all – in fact our dryer not have a venting kit available to purchase. I have one word of caution re this point – you may find the dryer does heat up the room it is in, especially if that room does not have a window you can open. It will not heat up to the extent it would with a regular dryer.

– There is very little lint produced

– You get some water back which you can use to water your plants.

– You do not have moisture and lint covering your walls – you can sometimes get that with a normal dryer if you don’t have it vented.

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Where Does The Water Go?

You have a few choices with the Miele – you can choose to drain the water down the sink – you can choose to have it drain into a bucket – you can choose to have it collect in the water reservoir shown below.

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The water reservoir is actually quite large. Here’s a couple of pics of it pulled out and on my kitchen counter.

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Each load in the machine produces between 2-3 litres of water. If the reservoir fills up before the load is done, the machine beeps until you arrive to empty it.

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The Stacking Kit –

If you have a front load washing machine, Miele’s stacking kit will generally fit on top of most other washers. The stacking kit includes a pop out tray, to make it easier to load the dryer.

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Oh look, a kitty snuck into that pic! The pop out tray includes a waterproof space for your washer and dryer instruction manuals. How sweet is that?

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Here you can see a load of washing waiting to go into the dryer.

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Why Use A Dryer?

I think I mentioned this once before but in Australia we have some nasty creatures called spiders, who tend to like clotheslines a lot. When I first moved in with The Other Half, we had washed our quilt cover and hung it on the line.For the next two weeks both of us would wake up with what looked like mosquito bites but we could never find any mosquitos. It was odd, because it looked like a trail of bites. I’m itching just typing about it.

A small spider, a very close cousin of the White Tail Spider, had crawled inside our quilt cover without our knowing it. One morning I saw it crawl out of the quilt cover and it just sat there looking at me, seeming quite pleased with itself.I was looking for something to dead it with and thanking all the deities it was not a white tail because those can give some very nasty bites where your skin peels away.. Once it was squashed I swore we would never hang anything out on the clothesline again. And we never have.

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What About Energy Use?

We use Origin Energy’s 100% wind power product. That means I pay a little bit more per kilowatt of electricity. Origin then purchases the amount of kilowatt hours I use from wind power.

Why Wind?

I’ve personally seen the wind farms in action and I liked what I saw. I believe in all forms of green energy and I also like solar quite a bit. You can choose solar as an option also.

How Much To Go Green?

Depending on where you are green electricity may cost you as little as $1 extra per week – I recommend you give Origin a call, or talk to your current electricity company if you are interested in going green. The more of us who switch to green, the better.

Because I Use Green –

I don’t feel as guilty about how much power we use. Of course I do try to cut back usage everywhere we can by using power saving globes and turning things off when we’re not using them.

No Dryer Gets A Good Energy Rating

The best energy rating for a dryer that I have seen is a 3.5 star. Most people are completely baffled by the energy ratings and it is no wonder, because the way they measure them is very complicated. Dryers all use electricity. There is no getting around that. If you want to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and use a dryer, your best choice is to choose green electricity.Your second best choice is to choose an “auto sensing” dryer rather than a timer model, because these will stop drying once the clothes are dry.

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How Much Is A Condenser Dryer?

Are you sitting down? You might need to be. These are not cheap to buy. However, they will last 3-4 lifetimes of a normal dryer, they give us water deprived Aussies the chance to get some of the water back from our washing, and they do increase the lifespan of your clothes. Condenser dryers are generally $1500AUD or more to purchase. The Miele is available at $1799, unless you purchase it with a front load washer, in which case it is $1499.

As With All Purchases Snoskred Makes –

I’ve done my research thoroughly before I buy anything, and because I worked in this industry I know this product is worth the money. These machines are some of the last 20 year lifespan products available on the market.

Why Do We Have A Bosch Front Load Washing Machine?

The Other Half built our front loader himself on a visit to the Bosch factory in Thailand just over a year ago. It was then packed up and shipped to us here. He did quite a good job because it is still working. ;) Otherwise we would have purchased ourselves a Miele.

Any Questions, Thoughts, Comments?

The comments section is closed because this post was written in 2007. You can always use the Contact Form to reach me if there is anything I didn’t explain clearly, or anything you want to know more about? Click here for the contact form.

Update January 2015

It is just over 7 years since we first got our Miele condensing dryer. The dryer is still going strong and we are still just as happy with it as when we first purchased it.

The biggest benefit for us has been the extension in the life of our clothes, especially clothes that you can’t normally dry in a dryer. I have a lot of outfits with sequins, beading, and glitter. I always wash these clothes inside out to prevent any of the sequins or beads getting caught on another piece of clothing.

I dry them on the low temperature setting. They come out of the dryer just as gorgeous as when I first bought them, and I know these clothes could not be dried in a regular dryer at all.

Update August 2015 –

A reader of this post sent me an email with some questions, in particular about sharing an office with one of these units. I thought I would put my answers here, in case anyone else is having the same questions.

Your post seems to indicate that these dryer CAN be vented. Is that the case?

I’ve checked with my other half who used to sell them – our dryer does not have a venting kit available and it cannot be vented.. I’m going to have to go back and re-read my post to see what I’ve said and fix that if I’ve said the wrong thing. Each brand and model are different – you might find one that does have a venting kit but the Mieles do not, though some of the models if you got creative you might be able to “create” one.

I noticed you said they give off heat into the room. Can you give me an idea as to how hot the room might get?

Our laundry at present is quite a cold room and the dryer does give off enough heat that it warms up quite nicely. If you were working in the same room you would want some air flow I think. A fan might do the job. In winter time if it gets very cold where you are, you might find this unit does a decent heating job.

More annoying than any heat would be the noise. If I had to work in the same room with it, I’d want noise cancelling headphones. It is like a constant whirring sound, and regularly, it stops and reverses. To me the stopping and reversing is the most annoying par

Does the dryer give off moisture? I know you say it isn’t like a normal dryer unvented (where you would have moisture and lint all over), but is the air coming off the dryer moist or actually dry?

The dryer does not give off any moisture at all. All the moisture is condensed internally. The only lint in our laundry room is what we remove from the machine when it is finished drying.

Lastly, I’m not sure how the weather is by you, but I am wondering what might happen if you need to run the dryer in the summer if the air in the room might be hot and might have some humidity. Would the dryer not work well?

I live in Australia. Our hottest summer days are 40 degrees C which is 104F, and we can have those hot days every single day for 2-3 weeks or a month at a time, plus, being coastal, humidity can get quite high here. The dryer works just as well in the summer as it does in the winter and I want to make it clear that we never dry our clothes in any other way because clotheslines = spiders here, so we use the dryer all year round.

The air in the room does not really seem to get much hotter in summer, but I am thinking this is because that room is in the middle of the house on the shadow side, so it gets no warmth from any location other than the temperature of the air.

These dryers were originally invented for the European markets where all the appliances live in the kitchen, plus there you generally don’t mind a little heat added to the room, especially in winter, but even in summer it does not get hot there like it gets here.

All condenser dryers work on the same concept, not all condenser dryers have the same quality, and not all the dryers can have the condensed water drained out by a hose like our Miele can.

If you have to share an office with a dryer, the humidity from a regular dryer would be terrible, so a condenser is probably the only way to go.

electrical appliances, environment, green electricity, Home

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

This week has been the hardest week for me. Once we got everything moved in here, I found myself just wanting to space out for a bit, watch a movie, have a rest. I’d been working so hard for so long without one day off. This was made even worse by the fact that two appliances we had ordered – our new Miele dishwasher and condenser dryer – had not arrived.

I had a little benchtop dishwasher which is half the size of a normal one, and I was trying to keep on top of the dishes as well as trying to clean the dishes unpacked from very inky newspaper. Note to ya’all – newspaper is not good for packing these days due to the amount of full color ads. My dishes were utterly filthy when I unpacked them. What was once white was now.. multicolored and ink stained. One advertiser had full page orange ads, which gave me fully orange plates!

I was washing all the clothes – then lugging them all downstairs to be dried in our old 4.5kg sensor dryer – then lugging them back upstairs to hang them up and iron them. The amount of lint that thing creates is incredible. We had to put it in the garage at the old house because there was no vent in the laundry. When we moved here we knew there was no vent so we made the decision to finally buy what we’d wanted for so long – a condenser dryer.

The new condenser dryer does not create anywhere near as much lint, and the even better news? You can reclaim the water from your washed clothes to water the plants. My first load in there which has just finished drying gave me back 2 litres of water, which I put on the lemon tree. That load had been washed at the high spin speed because when I put it on we didn’t know the appliances had arrived. On Saturday I’ll put some pics online of the appliances and reclaiming the water for those interested.

What all this has meant is, I have been so busy doing chores, unpacking, cooking, washing, drying, dishwashing, ironing and spacing out.. the amount of exercise I have been getting each day, even on the two days I took a bit of a break and watched a movie, is a lot more than I am used to. I have been falling into bed by 11:30pm and waking up every morning just before 7am. I am sleeping much better.

This week I saw The Sentinel with Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland – it was wonderful, I really enjoyed it. I bought In The Line Of Fire with Clint Eastwood because it was less than $10 and it was always a great movie – and it has a commentary track, so I was sold. Both of these were movies which involved the Secret Service and the President.

I also saw The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock which I spent half the movie trying to work out where it was going and when it finally dawned on me it hit me like a tonne of bricks – warning ladies, have your tissues handy! And Keanu looks HOT. And acts like someone with more than half a brain, which is hugely attractive for a change!

Now that the appliances have arrived, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will be able to finish all the chores over the next 3 days or so, and then I can get started on my daily beach walks. We’re working on a menu plan, and I have cooked dinner every night this week. Plus I made a cake! ;)

I am so ready to fall into bed tonight because I helped the other half carry those two really heavy appliances up the stairs, plus I had a full day of chores and grocery shopping on top of that!

Tomorrow I will be starting a new feature here on the blog, so look forward to that. ;)

electrical appliances, move to the beach, movies

Door curtains and other useful tips.

The other half spent a quiet hour sewing hems on door curtains the other night. What is a door curtain, I hear you ask? Basically you put a curtain across your doorway so you can keep the door open and still keep the heating or cooling contained within that room. If you live in a house where you are heating or cooling anything, a door curtain can save you some serious money if you can’t shut doors – or if like this house, it has been built open plan without doors in the right places.

Essentially it keeps the heat/cool in the room where you have put it, without having to shut doors. This is perfect for those of us with kitties (make one for your laundry door which is usually where you put the kitty litter, you’ll love it!) who like to have full access to the entire house. You can usually find a suitable kind of material ready made in any fabric store, but if you are crafty you could make your own.

How did we hang it up? There was no curtain rail or anything there, and this is a rental house so we did not want to leave marks. We found a brilliant thing at a local hardware store. I can’t really describe how it works and I can’t remember what it was called, but it is basically a rod you can twist in the middle to extend it and somehow it stays up all on its own. Like magic.

So this house we’re renting is set on a hill, and we get wind drafts into the bedroom and through the front door. Some days the temperature in that room was getting down to 10 degrees C. Quite cold and not very energy efficient because when we go to bed we turn on the reverse cycle aircon to keep the room warm.

We’ve taken some of the left over material from the door curtains and used it to make window curtains in the bedroom. These now cover the two front windows and keep the heat in brilliantly. It is now a small dark warm cave of goodness. I’ll take comfort over fashion anytime and this is almost both, to me. Others may look at it with horror but they don’t have to pay my electricity bills, which fill me with horror and scare the other half’s wallet into getting out the credit cards.

Despite the fact that we have moved states and now pay at least 5 cents less per kwh of electricity used, our bills have been somewhat high – though we do pay extra for green electricity. This house has electric hot water – tip to anyone building NEVER EVER get electric hot water, it is not cheap or good – if you don’t have access to natural gas try LPG or even solar.

I used to work for an electricity company. One of my tasks was to speak with callers about ways to reduce their energy usage. Doing that all day every day inspires one to actually do some of the things one talks about all the time – and at the time one was living in a state where electricity was expensive. So here’s some of the better tips which worked for me.

1. Replace all light globes with energy savers.

Yes, they cost more to purchase at the supermarket but this is the single thing we can all easily do which really saves a lot of energy. Put your maths brain on for a moment. Take your standard 60 watt globe. For every hour you have it turned on, it uses 60 watts. 1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt (1kwh). So with a 60 watt globe, you can run it for just over 16 hours and it will cost you 1kwh of electricity. You can replace your 60 watt globe with a 10 watt energy saver – it has the same amount of light. You will be able to run this for 100 hours for the same cost.

The bottom line – 100 hours vs 16.6 hours =1kwh. 100 hours is a lot better, so go install a bunch of them – and consider going lower than 10w – there are 5w globes out there too.

2. Air conditioning temperatures.

If you have an airconditioner, does yours allow you to set the temperature? If so, you want to go with 24-26 degrees Celsius in summer, and 18-21 degrees in winter.

3. Get rid of old appliances.

If you have a top load washing machine, you’re using a shitload of water. Seriously. For each wash you’d be using between 150-200+ litres of water. If you live in Australia you know we have serious water issues – do something about it. Buy a front load ASAP. Imagine 150-200 one litre milk cartons. Now imagine 50 one litre milk cartons to do the same amount of washing. Plus front loaders are more energy efficient and wash your clothes better.

If you have a beer fridge, turn it off or replace it with a new, more energy efficient version.

If you have an old air conditioner that will really be costing you big money. Purchase a new one if possible.

4. Use door snakes on all external doors.

It can make a huge difference to keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Also consider using door curtains and getting thicker curtains for your windows.

5. I’m not going to tell you to take shorter showers.

However, putting a clock in the bathroom can help you to be mindful of how long you are spending in there. The less time you are in there, the less energy and water used. I know I tend to stand there lost in thought but putting in a clock was useful.

Finally, if you want to do something good for the environment, speak to your energy supplier about green electricity. For example, people in Melbourne can choose to purchase green electricity for as little as one extra dollar per week. Less than one can of coke per week to be completely green? That’s fantastic.

electrical appliances, green electricity, Home, renting

Message received, content noted.

Somewhere within a 50km radius of where I live, there is a town known as Sussex Inlet. When I was working, customers from that place were always.. how can I put this nicely.. trouble. For example – a lady wanted to return an item she bought from us because it did not match her curtains. The item? An LCD tv set. Now I don’t know about you, but I rarely try to match my electrical appliances with my curtains.

So the other half and I avoided the place because we thought it was a haven for lunatics. Then one day, we took a wrong turn, and somehow ended up there. I have to say once you’ve been there you know why everyone is so loony – the place is amazingly incredible. I go loony just driving around the place. To any Adelaideians reading this – imagine West Lakes, but with crystal clear green colored water. Most of the houses there are waterfront, somehow.

sussex

Of course, like all places in NSW, they have an RSL club, and a bowling club. Soon one of the two will be having an AC/DC tribute band drop past to visit, and all day long today while we were driving, every second song turned out to be an AC/DC song. I think there is some higher force at work, and it wants us to go to the AC/DC tribute show. However it is on a weekend when family will be here to visit so we might not be able to make it. :(

It’s been a long day, more when I have got some decent sleep!

adelaide, country life, electrical appliances, New South Wales

Grrr

Nobody clicked the music clips in my review below. So now you’re all officially IN MY BAD BOOKS, and bugger it if I’m ever like putting effort into stuff for you again! You can all sit there without music, all depressed and stuff. Because music is what keeps people happy, people!

And I’m sitting here having locked the cats away (they’re indoor cats) in the little room down the end of the house waiting for a truck to deliver me a split system air conditioner and a new fridge. Yes, the old fridge literally deaded itself yesterday It was making a terrible noise then it stopped working, Just when I thought I would have to carry all my cold stuff down the street to my parents place, it seemed to get working again. It’s been making loud explosion like sounds for a while.

The poor kitties! I can hear their small mews and the little one is desperately trying to get out, she’s got a paw under the door and is jiggling it, that works with most rooms except that one, which is why they are in there. But still, no truck! I should have waited till the truck got here but they can be hard to catch when that happens. It’s been over 20 minutes already. The driver was supposed to be coming straight here. I feel terrible and I just want to let them out. If he’s much longer I’ll have to but there’s no way I’ll ever get them locked in again today. JUST GET HERE ALREADY! Deliver my stuff and go away so I can let my kitties run free! grrrr

The other half asked me what I would like to do with the dead fridge. I’d like to send it back to Fisher & Crappel oops Paykel, if you don’t mind. I’d like them to stick it where the sun does not shine. Though I realise this may take time and much lubrication.. it’s quite a large fridge, but it would make me feel better. 8 years out of a fridge is nowhere near long enough. I would never have bought it, it was given to us by my parents when we moved here to use until we bought our own new fridge. They’d replaced it with *another* Fisher and Crappel! Yes, another sign I was adopted right there. ;)

If you got here searching for Fisher & Paykel and you’re thinking about buying something of theirs? STOP NOW. Especially the washing machines, those are such evil crap in my opinion, I believe they are designed to break. Every time I sold one I’d say to myself “I’m so going to hell”. I tried to talk those people out of that mistake, but it was their choice. I’d tell them all the reasons it was bad, and they’d still want one and hand over substantial amounts of cash. I’m SORRY, I tried to tell you!

Still no truck. Another 10 minutes has gone by since I wrote the above. The kitties are trying the silence tactic now. This involves making no noise at all, hoping I will open the door to check on them. If I did that, they would be sitting right next to the door, and they would be out of there like a gunshot, running for their nearest “haha you can’t get me out of here” places. That would be fine if the nitwit who designed this house had put doors in crucial places. But they haven’t, it’s “open plan” and you can walk from the front door to the back of the house, no doors. Even that wouldn’t be so bad, if the doors that are here actually worked. I can name two doors the kitties can’t open. The rest are as useless as this truck driver who STILL IS NOT HERE.

There’s no milk. I can’t make coffee. I could walk down the street and get milk, but I am stuck here waiting for the VERY LATE truck driver. Hello? I live 3 minutes drive from the shop. What the fuck is taking so long to get here? I NEED COFFEE NOW. It’s bad enough my kitties are locked away, but no coffee on top of that, and nobody clicking on my well made mp3 Rockstar Supernova link which showcases the brilliance of my latest CD purchase, and it’s enough to make one start throwing things.

I’m in SUCH a bad mood now. Back slowly away, people. But you can click on my link first.. WHERE is this truck? It’s been another 10 minutes. The kitties tried opening the door again and have gone back to the silence tactic now. It’s starting to work. What if something happened in there? Maybe they’ve just given up and are curled up into little balls of fluff sleeping cutely. But you can bet the minute I open that door and let them out, the truck will arrive, and I’ll have to lock them up again so they can’t get outside. But if I don’t open it, the truck will never get here.

It’s been an hour now. I have to let them out. You watch this truck turn up..

Well it’s a good thing I let them out, another half hour has gone by, no truck. And no coffee. I really *really* need coffee now. And it was starting to get a little warm in that room they were in with the door shut, I’ve been sitting on the floor while the coolness from the airconditioned other rooms was pouring in. I have no idea how I am going to manage to get the cats back into one of the two rooms they can’t open the door of, and this is just making me more angry at the truck driver vanishing somewhere between here and the shop.

Phew, almost two hours since the other half called me to say the truck was on the way, they got here. With icecream. So that’s where they disappeared to! They didn’t bring any for me :( and if I’d known they were at the shops I would have said get milk! ;)

The cats are back out now, I locked them in the other room with a door that works. They promptly hid under the bed. Now I have two fridges in the middle of my kitchen, a cat tower in the middle of the walkway because they needed to move it to get the fridge in, and two cats sniffing around checking it all out. Oh, and ants. I don’t know why or how ;( I’m gonna have to spray surface spray today.

I’m going to get milk, make me coffee, and then I might try to write a somewhat more intelligent post to put here on this blog. :)

Angry Snoskred, electrical appliances, kitties

Yay! It’s here!

Today’s a really cool day. I was just watching Bed Of Roses (and what a great chick flick that is too, too much perfection!) and the doorbell rings and right away I know it’s the other half cos it doesn’t just ring once, it rings like 20 times like we do.. :) and he says he has a surprise, and opens the garage and backs in my parents car, and I figure out fairly quickly that it has finally got here..

surprise

I’ve smudged out his name because he does have an extremely unique name. ;) For the newer readers to the blog, my other half won a competition to go to Thailand and make his own washing machine in the factory there, and then he boxed it up, and it’s been on a boat ever since, and now it is here..

And I still have not managed to look at the photos from his trip yet. I suppose I should get around to it, right? ;)

electrical appliances, movies, travel