Load shedding is a reality, which we as South Africans have to live with every day. Rolling blackouts seem to lurk around every corner and can leave everyone blindsided if they are not adequately prepared. Luckily there are more and more smart ways in which you can now load shedding-proof your home to ensure that when the nation's lights go out, you don't find yourself sitting in the dark.
Here are some of the ways in which you can prepare your home for load shedding:
Install a generator
A generator is the easiest way to keep the lights and appliances on in your home when load shedding strikes. You can choose a generator size depending on which and how many of your electrical appliances and devices you want to be able to use during a power outage. You can opt for a fixed or portable generator; however, it is important to remember that generators can come at quite a substantial price. Generators require fuel (either diesel or petrol) in order to run, so it is important to ensure that you always have enough fuel to keep it running, so that your lights stay on.
Switch to gas
Look at switching to gas as an alternative and cheaper alternative power source to electricity. Switching to gas powered appliances such as gas stoves, geysers, heaters and even fridges, will help keep your food fresh and meals warm when the power goes out. Having gas heaters are a great way to ensure that your home stays warm in the event of load shedding in the cold winter months. If you're not yet ready to make a big switch, buying a small LP gas burner will allow you to to boil water and warm food when necessary.
Solar and battery-powered lights
To ensure that you don't find yourself in the dark when load shedding strikes, stock up on portable rechargeable solar lights and battery powered lanterns. These are not only brighter than candles but do not pose a fire risk in your home. Rechargeable solar lights are particularly handy as they can be charged in the sunlight during the day, so you do not need to worry about running out of batteries.
Install a UPS
A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Source) inverter system is a device which contains a battery that becomes a backup power source in your home in the event of a power outage. By means of an inverter, the battery power is then converted into wall type electricity, which can then power electrical devices in your home such as your TV and computer.
Get some power banks and ensure that they are fully charged so that in the event of a power outage you are able to charge your phones and laptops should they run out of power.
Surge protector plug
It's important to remember to get a surge protector plug for your electronic appliances and devices such as fridge, TV and computer; as this will protect them from being damaged by the surge of electricity when the power comes back on.
Although load shedding can be extremely irritating and inconvenient, if you properly prepare your home and load shedding-proof your appliances and devices, you can avoid you and your family finding yourselves stuck in the dark every time the power goes out.
Install gate motors and electric fencing have battery backups to ensure security levels during load shedding. Apply same principle to automated garage doors.
Read our previous article here
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