We all know how important it is to cut down on our household energy use; as well as saving money for yourself and your family, you’ll also be helping to reduce the environmental impact of your home. Over the past few years, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of households recycling their waste, reusing plastics, and trying to cut down on waste.
Whilst recycling your cans and plastics and leaving the car at home can undoubtedly help towards making the world a greener place to live, you should consider taking a look at your old household appliances too. These essential but often overlooked items have the potential to transform your home and save you money in the process with just a few simple changes.
This in-depth guide on how to cut back on your energy use will help you do just that:
Turn down the heat
The thermostat is the first place you should look when thinking about how to save energy. While your boiler should be ideally replaced every 15 years, your old boiler can still do a better job of being eco-friendly if you turn the thermostat down a few degrees and turn it off at night. You’ll sleep better if your body can cool down anyway, and a few degrees less during the day won’t make you uncomfortable. Consider popping another layer on next time you reach to turn up the thermostat, as usually, this is enough to warm you up!
Opt for a cooler wash
Washing your clothes at a colder temperature is another easy way to cut your household energy use. Opt to wash your clothes on a cold wash setting for the following benefits beyond saving the planet:
- Protect colour vibrancy
- Better stain removal (warm water actually keeps the stain in!)
- Money Saving
- Protect elastics
Give your fridge a good clean
A good fridge can last up to 10 to 20 years, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to replace it very often. But if your fridge is coming up for replacement, an eco-friendly model is definitely the way to go. For now, let’s focus on your current fridge. When was the last time you cleaned the coils? According to Architectural Digest, cleaning the coils of your fridge can encourage better energy use.
If you don’t know where to find your fridge coils, you should refer to the appliance manual. Your fridge’s coils are usually located on the bottom, the top, or the back of your appliance. Turn your fridge off before you start and remove the base grill if the coils are on the top or bottom or pull your fridge carefully out so you can see the coils at the back.
You’ll need to get a refrigerator coil brush and clean the dirt from behind the coils. Take the opportunity to sweep the floor too! Then, pop everything back in place. Be sure to wear gloves and be careful when moving your fridge — if it’s too heavy, ask for help moving it.
The summer months see many households looking for reliable air conditioning. For many, an air conditioning unit really does make a difference between comfort and discomfort. But, like any other appliance, it needs a little TLC every now and again to keep it working effectively and prevent any overuse of energy. Greener Ideal recommends getting a professional out to inspect your air-conditioning unit to make sure it is still running efficiently and effectively. If your system is making any strange noises, best to give a professional a call.
Switch off all devices
One bad habit that we’re all guilty of is leaving devices on standby after we go to bed. Charging our phones overnight when they really don’t need that long. Games consoles left to hum away in the dark. If you’re looking to lower your bills and your carbon footprint, switch them off completely before you go to bed. According to Energy Saving Trust, the average UK home spends £30 every year just on appliances left on standby, so always be sure to check your electric connection before switching off for the night. Spending £30 for something you’re not using isn’t good, and worse, it’s not good for the environment. Most of us go around the house to check the doors and windows are locked before heading to bed, so it’s easy to add a little look for standby lights into that routine.
Tumble dryer maintenance
If you have a tumble dryer in your hose, you should think about replacing the filters. The filters are meant to be cleaned after every use, but everyone has forgotten once or twice. The first step is to clean any lint from the filter, then pour a small amount of water on the filter to see if it can get through. If it doesn’t and pools on top of the filter, your filter needs a thorough cleaning. Give it a good scrubbing in soapy, warm water, then rinse it off and try pouring a little water through again. If it still pools a little, repeat your soap-water attack on the filter!
An eco-friendly dishwasher
It’s easy to make your dishwasher more efficient. One good habit to get into is to only set your dishwasher going once it has a full load. Also, be sure to have your full load placed efficiently in the dishwasher to fit in as much as possible without compromising on cleaning. Tree Hugger advises that, if your model has the option to, turn off its drying cycle and just let your dishes air dry. You can open the door at the end and leave them overnight to dry off.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you think a little greener when it comes to saving energy for your household. Take these tips on board and your home and workspace can be its greenest. When the time does come to replace your older appliances, be sure to keep in mind whether or not it is energy efficient.