It is important to be mindful about how you are running your major appliances not only for the good of the environment, but to save you money in the long run. This is especially true in Winter, as we all turn to appliances that don’t get as much of a workout in Summer. Here are five areas to help you improve your energy usage.
1. Washing Machines & Dryers
- Wash at a lower temperature: Cleaning your clothes in cold water uses less energy than hot water, plus it’s gentler on their fibres. But cold water does not always remove stubborn dirt and stains. If this is a concern, set the washing-machine temperature to 30°C – this is warm enough to lift stains, but uses less energy than a hot wash.
- Fill them up: Washing machines and dryers run more efficiently when they are filled up correctly. Many new washing machines have load sensors that ‘read’ the size of the load and use the perfect amount of water to get it clean. Some new washers and dryers have load indicators that tell you when the machine has reached capacity. Touch test – You can check whether you’ve filled an older machine to capacity by putting your hand on top of the washing – it should come a quarter of the way down from the top of the drum (consider this a full load).
- Clean your dryers lint filter: Clean your filter after every use so air can pass through it and the machine doesn’t have to work harder than it needs to. When the filter is filled with lint particles, your dryer has to work much harder to push heated air through it to dry your clothes – which costs you money. Some heat-pump dryers have a self-cleaning condenser, which means the machine does the clearing automatically.
- Size it right: Choose the correct size heater to warm your space. Too small and the heater won’t warm the room; too large and it will overheat it and waste power.
- Choose an efficient heater: Gas and convector models are among the most energy-efficient heating options.
- Cover doors and windows: Use curtains, window coverings and draught stoppers under doors to prevent heat from escaping.
- Only heat the rooms you’re in: Keep the doors between rooms closed, and close the heating vents in spare rooms.
- Invest in insulation: Think of insulation like a blanket for your home. By adding it to your roof, you can reduce your heater’s running costs by up to 30 percent. Insulate your walls and floors too, and the savings increase.
- Upgrade to a model with a higher star rating: New fridges are far more energy-efficient and cheaper to run than their predecessors. So if yours is more than 10 years old, consider an upgrade.
- Only choose a fridge as big as you actually need: The larger the fridge, the more energy it consumes. So only buy as big as you actually need.
- Keep it full: Fridges and freezers work by cooling the air inside them, therefore it pays to keep your fridge as full as possible. This means less air inside the fridge needs to be cooled.
- Make sure the seals work properly: If not, cool air will simply escape from your fridge.To check, try the paper test. Place a piece of paper between the door and the fridge, close the door and pull. If the paper slips out easily then it’s time to replace your fridge seals.
- Keep it shut: Every time you open the door you let the cold air escape. Avoid fridge gazing and only open the door when you actually need to.
- Fill it up: Make sure the machine is fully loaded before you hit the button. At the same time, avoid over-filling – this can lead to dishes coming out dirty, which only means more cleaning (and more time, water and energy wastage).
- Get to know the features: Some models come with options such as ‘eco-load’ or ‘half-load’ that make for more efficient cleaning. Also consider using the rinse or pre-wash cycle of your dishwasher, rather than running dishes under the tap, to save water.
- Use quality dishwasher detergent: This can help you get better results and reduce the need to re-wash.
5. Ovens and Cooktops
- Choose an efficient cooktop: Consider upgrading your old cooktop to a more energy efficient gas or induction model.
- Buy smart: When choosing a new oven, look for a style that has a well-insulated door, as this will keep the heat in.
At Hurst Homed energy efficiency is important to us as we know it is important to you. All of our standard inclusion appliances have been carefully selected based on brand quality and energy efficiency. We design your home around solar orientation and use quality insulation to improve the whole energy efficiency of your home. And on completion we provide our clients with an overall energy rating for their home. It is important to think to the future, and with over 30 years experience Hurst Homes have the knowledge to build you a future-proof home. Contact a friendly member of our team today to start your building journey.
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