Use your appliances wisely during the summer – Henry
Many see Hopeton Henry as the Television Jamaica cameraman for Clarendon, but few know that he is actually a certified electrician/electronic technician. With the summer now upon us, Henry says persons will be using their appliances even more – especially their fans, and will see a surge in their electricity bills as they are not carrying out best practices in their usage.
He explained that most appliances that are being in sold in Jamaica are 60Hz(hertz) cycle when, in fact, Jamaica Public Service offers 50Hz cycle.
“If you look at your metre you see 50Hz, and if you look at most appliances in your house it is 60Hz, that’s what most homes and business places have been using,” he highlighted.
Henry said the frequency being used on the appliance is not correct and will result in the appliance being overworked, creating more heat and vibration and during this process, electricity is going to waste.
Giving an example, he said a refrigerator compressor will be overworked, thus generating more heat and vibration and in the end, reducing its lifespan.
“If you look at the shears barbers use in this region, fridges, washing machines, you hear a lot of vibrations. The barbers normally sponge the shears to reduce the vibration and the sound. If you should use that same shear on a 50-cycle supply, you would hear little or no noise,” Henry opined, adding that consumers can invest in a voltage converter, which would change the cycle from 60 to 50.
Henry also had other valuable tips for keeping the electricity cost down, noting that refrigerator settings should be adjusted during the summer days.
“When it touches summertime, you have to change your settings. Some of the refrigerators carry digital settings, while some are manual,” he shared, adding that on hotter days, the temperature in the fridge should be turned down, and turned up in cooler days.
Pointing out that there is a safety concern in using fans, Henry said during the summertime, fans used on the wrong cycle can have a negative feedback.
“Some of these fans, especially the standing fans, they will run for a period of time, and as a result of the excess heat that is produced from the cycle, the oil will dry out of the bearing as well as the bushing, hence the motor jam.”
Sharing that some of the fans being sold in the island are poorly designed, he said they are not equipped with a terminal temperature fuse, resulting in it ‘jamming’.
“When it jams, it will be there humming for hours, until you smell it. Sometimes you even fall asleep and forget that the fan was on; when you wake up, you’re hot. Several persons lose their houses, even their lives, and don’t even realise that it is because of the fan,” he noted.
While some consumers believe they are conserving by using one fan in the room, Henry said it is smarter to use two to get the room cool by having one blowing away the hot air and one blowing in cool air.
Noting that fan cannot cool air, but what it does is circulate it, he shared that getting rid of hot air is what needs to be done.
In that light, he pointed that the closing of windows and doors when the fan is in use is a no-no, as that will result in the hot air actually being circulated in the room instead of leaving it.