Frequently asked questions at Darwin Electrical Services
You might have an electrical fault—a loose connection in the fitting or a faulty light switch. Heat from electrical faults can lead to fire. Give us a call at Darwin Electrical Services and we’ll make sure everything is safe.
True to some extent. Downlights are best when they’re LED downlights. LED technology dramatically reduces the danger of a house fire. LED lights don’t get hot, they’re cheaper to run than other electric lights, and their lifespan is up to 50,000 hours.
An RCD is a safety device that kicks in when the electrical current flowing in differs from the current flowing out of the circuit. When it detects an imbalance in the electrical current—indicating a leakage to earth, e.g. current flowing through someone’s body to earth—the RCD immediately cuts the supply to prevent electrocution. RCDs are extremely sensitive, disconnecting within 10 to 50 milliseconds of detecting a problem.
No. A second RCD must be installed. The power point and lighting circuits need their own RCD. If you own the property, contact Darwin Electrical Services to arrange installation of a second RCD. If you are the purchaser, include the installation of a second RCD as a condition in the Offer and Acceptance.
No. Many homes have them installed, however, circuit breakers only protect against overloads and short circuits. They do not prevent electric shocks. RCDs protect us from electric shocks. Circuit breakers are designed to protect the wiring.
- Switch off unused lights.
The average Australian household spends about $100 on lighting per year—about three quarters of a tonne of greenhouse gases annually. That’s enough gas to fill 1500 wheelie bins.
- Switch off appliances on standby.
Do you know how much electricity is used by an appliance on standby? Appliances in standby mode use about 5 watts at least. Turn them off at the wall and they use NO electricity. Switch off just one appliance at the wall and you’d lighten the burden on the atmosphere by 45 kg of greenhouse gas annually. That’s about 100 wheelie bins less of greenhouse gas a year.
- Change to energy efficient light globes.
Cut your lighting greenhouse emissions by 75% by swapping over to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Over its lifespan (About as long as 6 old incandescent globes), a typical CFL saves around $45 and about a third of a tonne of greenhouse gas—enough to fill a wheelie bin, 700 times over.
- Buy appliances with good energy ratings.
Energy Star labels are what you should be looking for. The more stars, the more efficient.
- The most energy efficient air-conditioners are 6-star rated.
- The most energy efficient clothes-dryers are 3.5-star rated. Better still, try not using a clothes-dryer.
- The most energy efficient washing machines are 5-star rated.
- The most energy efficient dishwashers are 4-star rated.
- The most energy efficient fridges and freezers are 6-star rated.
Purchasing products with higher star ratings may cost more upfront, but in the long term, your electricity bills will be less costly. Enabling the Energy Star feature on your computer or monitor allows it to go into low-energy sleep mode. Screensavers don’t save energy. Laptops with the Energy Star logo are up to 5 times more energy efficient than desktop computers.
- Air-conditioning doesn’t come cheaply. Simply by adjusting your thermostat a degree warmer in summer and a degree cooler in winter, you’ll save up to 10% on your bill. Ideally, set it no lower than 24 degrees.
- Don’t let your dishwasher’s filter go too long without cleaning. You don’t want to have to re-wash your dishes.
- Make sure your fridge or freezer is not placed in a hot spot. And make sure its coils have plenty of air circulation.
- Check your fridge seals are effective. Closed the fridge door on a piece of paper. It should hold firmly. If not, replace the seals.
- An electric timer will switch on appliances only when you need them (E.g. heated towel rails, electric blankets, pool pumps, etc).
- Switch to GreenPower.
Switching to 100% accredited GreenPower would cut 70% from your carbon footprint. With a government accredited GreenPower product, the energy supplier agrees to purchase your nominated amount of energy from renewable sources, instead of coal-derived power. Take a look at the Green Electricity Guide’s independent ranking of Green Power electricity products.
- Install solar hot water.
Hot water takes a lot of energy and accounts for around 16% of your carbon footprint, second only to transport emissions. Solar hot water will reduce your energy bill and reduce your emissions significantly. Rebates are available in eligible circumstances when buying a solar hot water heater. Check out state government incentives and rebates.
- Avoid using hot water when cold water will do. Cold water clothes washing uses up to 15 times less energy than hot washing.
- Be aware that a mixer tap not in its furthest right position, will be mixing hot water. For cold water only, keep your mixer tap in its far right position.
- Turn off your hot water system if you’ll be away from home for a time.
- Make sure your hot water tank and pipes are insulated.
- Avoid rinsing dishes under running hot water.
- Run your dishwasher only when it’s full.
- Dishwasher or clothes-washer, try short wash programs. They’ll often do the job equally well.
- Install flow restrictors and tap aerators.
- Take shorter showers.
Showers take the biggest chunk of your household’s hot water. Shorten your average shower time by a minute and you save half a kilogram of greenhouse gas per shower and about 3% off your household emissions.
- Fix dripping taps.
Dripping taps can waste about 10 bathtubs of water a month (AGO). Time to bring in the plumber! Fixing your dripping hot water taps can save you up to 1% of household emissions—80 kg of greenhouse gas each year.
- Insulate your home. Insulation in your ceiling and walls will help keep heat in during winter, and help keep heat out during summer. An upfront cost but in the long-term, it can save up to 50% off your electricity bills.
- Keep your windows shaded, using blinds or awnings.
- Draught-proof your home. Simply sealing gaps and cracks, can save you up to 15% of your energy bills.
- Cool only the area you’re using by shutting doors appropriately.
- Fans are more energy efficient than air-conditioners.