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Home Living : October 7 2008
Outdoor power drainers HOMELIVING As the weather warms up we'll be spending more time outdoors, but electrical appliances in the back yard can add hundreds of dollars to energy bills. EnergyAustralia energy efficiency expert Paul Myors says 15 per cent of Sydney households have a swimming pool or a spa. ''Heating of outdoor spas requires a lot of energy and can add hundreds of dollars to electricity bills,'' he said. ''If there is one appliance in the home that shouldn't be left running unnecessarily, it's the spa heater. ''The best thing to do is to switch it off when it is not being used. An insulating cover alone can cut your spa running costs by more than half.'' Gas heating for spas is cheaper than electricity, has quicker heating times and less than half of the greenhouse emissions. Outdoor lighting is important for home security. However, two standard 150W outdoor floodlights left on every evening for four hours will cost more than $50 a year and create 460kg of greenhouse gas emissions. Switch off outdoor lights when they're not needed, or use a timer, daylight or movement sensor to help reduce costs. There are now compact fluorescent lamp versions of the standard floodlight. These bulbs use 80 per cent less power and last up to 15 times longer. Cafe-style outdoor gas heaters are not an efficient way to heat and they can be expensive to run. In fact, using them once a week during winter can add up to $84 to your winter heating costs. If you're entertaining outdoors in the evening try rugging up with an extra jumper and scarf instead. Mozzie zappers use the same amount of power as a standard light bulb, don't leave them running all the time or they will start to add dollars to the energy bill. Details: EnergyAustralia 131 535 or visit www.energy.com.au HLN - HOME LIVING: NORTH, Tuesday, October 7, 2008 11 ............................................ » ADVERTISING FEATURE Outdoor speakers The emergence of the outdoor entertainment area as a focal point of the home has led to huge demand for outdoor speakers. Audio supplier Avico advises caution when purchasing outdoor speakers. It says that many speakers on the market are only water-resistant and, as such, should not be permanently mounted outdoors unless they are completely sheltered from all moisture and salt-laden winds. True outdoor speakers are those that feature an aluminium grille, polypropolene cones (most are made from cardboard and steel) and stainless steel screws and corrosion-resistant mounting brackets -- all of which ensure the device will not rust or deteriorate in sound quality. The company says its new range of outdoor speakers has been specifically designed and manufactured for the Australian climate. 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October 14 2008
September 30 2008