If you were thinking of taking advantage of some deals in the January sales and replacing a few home appliances, it is a great idea to gain an insight into what to look out for to make sure you’re not needlessly adding to your energy bills. It’s not always easy to distinguish between greedy energy guzzlers and earth-friendly efficient appliances so; we thought it would be helpful to share a few pointers and things to keep-an-eye out for when shopping. If you’re not looking to upgrade any-time soon we have included a few hints to help make your existing models as efficient as possible too.
Washing Machines and Tumble Dryers
We spend hundreds of millions of pounds each year in the UK keeping our clothes clean and dry. Doing just two loads of laundry a week with spins in the tumble dryer can cost over a £100. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine be sure to check the appliances energy rating and look out for an A+++ for top marks in efficiency.
Whether you have a brand new sparkly uber-efficient machine or a slightly rickety model it is sensible to get into good habits including reducing the water temperature from 40⁰C to 30⁰C. This can cut consumption by 46% and instead of regularly using the dryer; invest in a clothes rack, and a well-ventilated room will do-the-trick at a fraction of the cost.
These hungry white goods are guilty of contributing to 20% of our energy bills. Second-only to central heating, keeping our food chilled 24/7 can be a costly business. Since 2012 all models must come with a minimum A+ energy rating and new energy labels placed on all appliances provide expected electricity consumption for added help.
To keep consumption as low as possible make sure your fridge is set to a temperature between 3-4⁰c and the freezer somewhere between -15⁰c and -18⁰c. For every degree lower you set it, you will be using 5% more energy!
Try not to fill your fridge too much as the extra work it needs to do to keep everything cool will lead to more energy being consumed. Finally avoid putting warm food in the fridge. This saves lots of energy and a poorly tummy.
The nation was founded on the humble cup of tea, yet with the average household boiling the kettle over 1500 times a year, an incredible amount of energy is consumed for our refreshment. Most kettles are energy efficient these days but our insatiable thirst and bad habits all contribute to increased consumption. A lot of us are guilty of absentmindedly filling the kettle to the top regardless of how many cups we’re making. Try not to over-fill and the good news is that it’ll take far less time to boil.
The added convenience of reducing the washing-up unfortunately does come with an increased energy consumption cost. Dishwashers on average will set you back £41 over a year. Only switch them on when full and give plates a rinse before to avoid clogged pipes.
Entertainment can come at a cost and with a lot of UK households owning up to three screens energy consumption soon shoots up. Older plasma models are particularly culpable for this and if you’re looking to replace an old set consider investing in an LED model which use around a third less of the energy… and REMEMBER to turn the set off completely when not using it! That innocent-looking red standby light will soon see your energy consumption rising.
Home computers have a surprising thirst for power and use 85% more electricity than a laptop does. A lot of us tend to leave our computers on even when we’re not using them, mistakenly believing that the screen-saver can’t be using much energy. It does! It takes far less energy to switch something back on than leaving it running, so try and get into a routine of turning it off completely.
Our lives are made considerably easier with all of these appliances and we would struggle to live without any of them. The good news is that improving energy efficiency is increasingly at the forefront of manufacturer’s production targets .With a bit of thought and common-sense in our everyday lives there is no reason to be wasteful in our energy consumption and we can keep those trusty appliances running as economically as possible.