Five quirky inventions to help with house sharing bugbears
Are house shares raising your temperature as well as your energy bills?
Inventor and designer Dominic Wilcox has some creative solutions that might help. But in the absence of one of these inventions, we’ve given you our best hacks for a harmonious house share.
1. Leaving the lights on
Do you find yourself dashing around the house turning off the lights after everyone else? Well, dash no more – Dominic has a solution. The ‘Helping Hand’ is a mechanical arm which drops down to switch off the light when a room is empty.
But if you can’t get hold of a Helping Hand, you can invest in some LEDs. LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are the most energy-efficient bulbs available, and will save you money on your energy bills as they are much cheaper to run. They do cost more to buy, but they last far longer than your average bulb so they’re well worth the investment. You can use a smart meter to see where else you can save on energy around your home.
2. Drying clothes on the radiator
For this housemate gripe, Dominic has invented the ‘Clothes Drying Wind Tunnel’; a pedal-powered device which quickly dries garments and prevents wet clothes draining heat from radiator.
But, if all the Clothes Drying Wind Tunnels are out of stock – try explaining to your housemates, the disadvantages of using radiators to dry your clothes. It can cause far too much moisture in your home, potentially even being a health risk. And, it makes your radiator work overtime to heat the room, ultimately costing you money.
3. Blasting music until the early hours
For the housemates that just want to party all night, every night, Dominic suggests giving the ‘Sound Proof Disco Bed Box’ a whirl – confining the party to your own private disco.
Failing this, wireless headphones are a great way to have your own silent disco and not use energy while you’re listening. But if you still want to blast the tunes, why not get your house some energy efficient speakers, so you can still have a party, but cut down your energy bill.
4. Letting the recycling pile up with bottles and cardboard
We all know a person who still thinks the magic fairies come in at night and empty the recycling. For those housemates, Dominic gives us the ‘Rumbling and Grumbling Recycling Bin’, letting forgetful housemates know that it needs emptying before it gets too much.
But in the absence of a talking bin – it’s always good to remind your housemates of the importance of recycling and contributing towards a greener space. Once you have a system that works for you in place, there’s no reason to let it get out of hand.
5. Having no clue how much you’re spending on your energy bills
In a house share, it’s hard to keep track of how much energy you’re all using on a daily basis. Fortunately, we’ve already got the invention to make your life easier, and better still, it comes at no extra cost.
If you or your housemates are responsible for the energy bills, you can get a smart meter. Smart meters automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier, so that’s one less job to squabble over. They also show you exactly how much you're spending on gas and electricity in pounds and pence, so you’ll know exactly what (and who) is costing you the most energy.