Combat your high energy bill by tackling these five appliances
Appliances are an expensive but necessary investment for your home. Not only do you have to pay for the appliances initially, you must pay to run them too. However, if you use your appliances smartly, you can reduce not only your energy bill but also your carbon footprint. Read on for some handy tips from our founder, Scott Wells on managing five of the most energy-intensive appliances in your home:
Reducing the cost of running your washing machine starts with making sure not to overload it or wasting a cycle by not filling it enough. In both cases, more electricity will be needed to run the machine. One full capacity load generally uses less energy than two half capacity loads, so try and wait until you can fill your machine to capacity. Overloading will mean your machine has to work harder and clothes are just not clean enough, most likely calling for another wash.
When washing, make sure to choose the right program for the load so that you only use as much power and water as necessary. Washing on the cold cycle will help to reduce your energy bill as the water will not have to be heated up. With the right detergent, using this cycle will not impact on cleaning performance and will cost less per load. Use the highest speed spin cycle as more water removed means less power needed by the dryer. Be careful to not do this on delicate items though.
If you’re buying a new washing machine, look for one that has high energy efficiency ratings and higher spin speeds. Typically, front-loaders use less power, water and detergent than top loaders.
Try to use the dryer only when necessary and when you do use it, avoid overloading. On days that aren’t too rainy or windy, hang your clothes out on the clothesline. On warmer, sunny days your clothes should dry in about the same time as your dryer would. Try and do your washing in the morning and hang it out early to maximise how much sunshine they will get. If by the evening they are still damp, then you can put it in the dryer. But it would be for far less time than if you had put it straight in there, and therefore less money is spent on energy. On rainy days, you could use a clothes rack inside the house to dry your clothes. In winter you could put the clothes rack in front of the heater or fire.
When buying a dryer, compare energy ratings to help you identify the most efficient one.
To save money on your fridge ensure it is sealed properly, and keep it fully stocked, but not overfull. Fuller fridges have higher thermal mass, so keeping it well stocked means your fridge’s compressor won’t cycle as often and will reduce your energy use. Also, make sure that you do not leave the fridge open for too long. The cold will pour out of the fridge and the longer the door is open, the longer it will take to get the fridge back to its optimal temperature which means that more electricity will be used.
When buying a fridge, choose one with a high energy efficiency rating. It may have a higher price tag, but it will cost you less to run in the long-term.
Dishwashers will not only save you from the labour of washing things yourself, they’re also more energy and water efficient than hand washing. Wait until your dishwasher is full before turning it on to maximise your savings. Also, try using it in eco-mode with a good quality dishwasher detergent as you may find it cleans just as well while using less energy.
An easy way to save on energy from your television is to run it only when actively watching a show. Do not leave it on all day. If it is on for background noise, use the radio instead. It uses much less power. Switching it off via the remote does reduce power consumption but having the red power light on means that some energy is still being used. To further reduce the energy consumption, turn it off at the wall. Your AV equipment is also consuming energy while you’re not using it so make sure to turn off your DVD player, speaker etc. to maximise savings.
When buying a television, check its energy efficiency rating and use them to compare televisions. Older televisions use much more power and the bigger the screen, the more energy it’ll need.
Appliances are energy-hungry and will consume endlessly if you let them. If you are smart about how you use your appliances, then you will see a decrease in your energy bill and you will also be limiting the greenhouse emissions produced by your home. Follow these tips and both your wallet and the planet will thank you for it.