Modern appliances aren’t as bad as their older counterparts for guzzling energy; they’re required by law in the EU to meet certain energy efficiency standards to help the environment. But there are still steps which can be taken to improve the efficiency of your appliances.
Here are our ten top tips:
1. Downsize Your Appliances
Smaller appliances cost less to run and are usually cheaper to buy too. So to save money avoid buying appliances larger than you need. Two people living together will have plenty of room in an under counter fridge rather than huge American size one for example.
2. Shop for Energy Efficient Models
The energy rating is also worth considering when buying a new appliance. A+++ is the current most efficient rating and so appliances with this rating will cost the least to run. If your current machine is more than ten years old it may be worth shopping for an upgrade. Appliances lose efficiency as they age and energy regulations were not as strict when older appliances were made either so your old appliance could be using a fair amount of energy.
3. Only Use Your Appliances When Necessary
A foolproof way to save energy is to leave your appliances turned off if you don’t need to use them. If it’s sunny outside or you’ve already used energy to heat your home you can air dry your clothes on a rack or line instead of using your tumble dryer. (Clearing out your tumble dryer lint filters after every use will also help keep it efficient.)
4. Remember to Switch Off
A modern dishwasher or washing machine with a brightly lit display will use energy even when it’s in not in use. You can save some energy with a simple flick of the off switch.
5. Turn Your Electronics Off Standby
Similarly, leaving electronics like TVs and laptops on standby will cost you. Charging a phone or tablet longer than necessary also guzzles power and can even damage the device’s battery. The International Energy Agency estimates that 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions is caused by appliances left on standby. Considering that the total CO2 emissions from all flights worldwide is under 3% that’s a lot of energy!
6. Clean Your Oven
Avoid wasting energy heating the charred spills from last week’s dinner caked on your oven. Keep it clean to cook your food more efficiently.
7. Defrost Your Fridge Freezer
As your fridge and freezer will be in use constantly it’s an especially good idea to get a model with an efficient energy rating. Keep it defrosted too; a frosted up fridge freezer will use more energy keeping your food cold.
8. Use Your Microwave For Cooking
Microwaves are more energy efficient than ovens as they heat food directly, whereas an oven heats all the air inside it. They’re not just great for heating foods; microwaves can even cook ingredients like potatoes, rice and vegetables or whole recipes from scratch.
9. Check Appliance Seals
A faulty oven seal will cause your oven to lose hot air and could even melt your cooker knobs. Likewise (but in reverse) a faulty fridge seal will let hot air into the fridge so it has to use more energy to maintain a cool temperature. Luckily both types of seal can easily be replaced.
10. Don’t Over or Under-fill Appliances
There’s no need to fill an entire kettle for just one cuppa. Only boil the amount of water you need. Tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers on the other hand should be filled to their maximum capacity before running them to save money.
These steps are a great start to saving money on your energy bills, but there are lots more top tips out there like leaving your oven open in winter after cooking to heat the room or regularly cleaning your vacuum filters. Read our 25 tips for the home and garden or our washing machine money saving steps to save even more!