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02 Dec 2021

Better energy rated appliances really do make a big difference to the environment and your wallet

Better energy rated appliances really do make a big difference to the environment and your wallet

Times have certainly changed for the average household appliance. For a long while, families would invest in low cost and longevity, as energy ratings were not high in the priority list.
Whereas nowadays, people have become more savvy about the energy efficiency output that their appliances give. A+ rated washers, driers, fridges, and even kettles are now highly sought after.
Even though the initial purchase price of an A rated appliance is more than the price of three C rated appliances, people are still looking at the short-term pain for the long term gain.
Yes, they are expensive, but over the course of usage, energy bills are drastically reduced in the long-run.
Reduce your energy consumption, lower your utility bills and create an energy efficient home with these five appliance tips and energy saving equivalents:

Washing Machine
The majority of the energy used by the washing machine, is the heating of the water for different cycles. Ergo, the hotter the water, the more energy used.
Unless your clothes are highly soiled from a food fight, or you decided to have a spontaneous game of soccer in a flooded pitch, then most laundry loads can be placed at the 30 degree setting.
And to top this off, there are plenty of laundry detergents more than capable to provide squeaky whites at a lower temp wash.
If you have it, try dusting off the delayed timer function and set your cycle to come on after 11pm.
Most energy providers have stated that a lower energy consumption rate can be achieved after this time! A lot of machines these days also have an 'Eco' mode setting also, so take it for a spin-cycle!

Top Tip: Always try to load a full wash, it basically costs the same as a half load.

Tumble Dryer
Our number 2 on the list is fitting, since it's commonly the second largest energy consumer in the house. On average, it costs between 50 cent and 1 euro to do one load of drying, which is the equivalent of a few days worth of 10 minute electric showers.
Energy savvy tips to reduce the cost would be hanging your wools/towels in the hotpress/bathroom/utility room (anywhere that has good ventilation and is not prone to damp).
As Ireland can be limited with weather, you could use a balcony, or the shelter of a shed to hang the washing inside of also. Clothes horses come in handy, and also the radiator rack is a nifty little device to help rapid-dry the smalls and delicates quickly also.
With regards to the tumble dryer, ensure that the filters are regularly cleaned and maintained. Try using your dryer after 11pm, and take advantage of the eco cycle button if you have it!

Top Tip: If you own a condensor dryer, try using the water reserve to tend plants and for household cleaning.

Fridge
One of the few household appliances that runs 24/7. The fridge is a known culprit of taking up a significant amount of energy to run in the home.
So to avoid in digging an underground cold chamber or salt vault, here is one of the most simple and vital tips to keep your fridge using minimal wattage.
Shut the front door! For every 10-20 seconds that you keep your fridge door open, it will take a minimum of 45 minutes for the fridge to return to it's set temperature.
Usually, 5 degrees is the ideal temperature setting to have your fridge at. Placing it at a cooler temperature will raise the heat on the electricity bill!
Try not to overpack your fridge, the more space for the airflow, the easier it is for the temperature to stay regulated.

Top Tip: Don't place hot food into the fridge, let it cool down to room temperature so that the coolant system does not have to work so hard in getting colder.

Kettle
One of the most used appliances in every household! According to a top-secret Irish Tea brand Ambassador, the average Irish person drinks approximately 300 litres of tea per year!
Equating to a national average of at least 5 cups per person per day...This would average out at boiling the kettle 5 times per day, minimum! Try to avoid boiling a full kettle for just one cup of brew.

Top Tip: If you are in a tea slump, try making a pot of tea to avoid clicking the boil button multiple times!


Electric Shower
While it saves the effort of turning on the dreaded immersion switch, as they convert cold water to scalding within minutes! Electric showers can be a culprit and a huge 'drain' on energy.
Small sacrifices like cutting down your time, and even reducing the temperature by a few degrees can make a world of difference. Shortening your shower time by 10 minutes per wash, can actually save you around €100 per year.
Try switching out your shower head for a low flow or an ionic filtered one. Again, the combination of using less water, at a shorter time in a cooler temp setting, can make a massive difference to the energy bills.

Top Tip: Try placing a bucket in your shower and use it to catch some of the water while you're getting ready. You can use it to water plants, flush the toilet and for cleaning also!

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