10 January 2017 | News
We’ve narrowed down the Top Five electrical appliances in the home that use the most energy, and some tips and tricks on how to reduce this energy usage.
Our biggest tip for saving energy overall is checking you have the best deal with your energy provider – by switching to a different energy company you could make potential savings of up to £300(1)!
If you are a resident of Cheshire East or West, you may be eligible for savings with Fairerpower – follow the link to get a quote: http://fairerpower.co.uk/
With an average cost of £40.80 annually (2), the Fridge Freezer is one of the most expensive electrical appliances in the home.
But rest assured we have a few helpful tips that could help you to save money:
• Check the temperature: Refrigerators are best kept to 36 to 38 degrees F (2.2 to 3.3 degrees C) and for freezers it’s 0 to 5 degrees (-17.8 to -15 degrees C). (3)
• Be sure to defrost regularly, more than 0.24 inches of frost build up will damage the efficiency. (3)
• Check that the door seals are strong. A good way to check is to place a piece of paper between the door – if it stays perfectly in place then your good to go!
• Make sure the back of your fridge is dust free and properly ventilated. Vacuuming away dust build up regularly throughout the year could reduce energy consumption by up to 6%. (4)
• Don’t keep open the fridge door open for longer than is necessary.
• Consider the location of your fridge – is it exposed to direct sunlight or other sources of heat from within the home? If so – it’s time for a move around!
The average Tumble Dryer owner uses this appliance approximately 150 times per year, which could cost around £37.00 annually. (2)
There are many things you can do to conserve energy when drying clothes:
• Although often problematic for the typical British Weather, using a clothes line to dry your clothes is a great alternative to a Tumble Dryer. We recommend planning your washing days ahead – if tomorrows forecasted to be warm and sunny but today is pouring with rain, then hold off doing your washing and peg it out!
• Try using a spin cycle to spin water of out the clothes rather than drying straight away, although not all the water will be drained off in a spin cycle, it means you will spend less time using the dryer.
• Avoid drying smaller loads, filling your dryer up to capacity uses a lot less energy.
• When putting a load in the dryer, consider putting similar materials together. Different clothing types often means different drying times, so putting similar things together makes for a more efficient cycle.
• Untangling and separating your clothes allows air to circulate more freely, which means clothes will dry quicker.
Electric Hob/ Oven
Using an Electric Hob is often significantly more expensive than using gas, with average spend coming in at £30.10 compared to the £14.12 for a Gas Hob(2). However it may be possible that gas lines are not fitted in your home and therefore you would have to pay to have them installed, or it may be that you are concerned with the air pollution given off by using gas or the risk of explosion. If this is the case, we have some advice that will allow you to use your electric hob much more efficiently:
• Use the right size of pan for the amount of food you’re cooking to save wasting energy heating up more than you need.
• Put just enough water in the pan to cover vegetables.
• Choose the right size of burner/ ring for the pan you are using.
• Be sure to always put lids on top of the pans to keep heat in.
• Once the correct cooking temperature or cooking state is reached, turn down the ring or burner – so you can simmer the food rather than boil it.
• Use a steamer: This method allows you to stack a numerous layers of vegetables on top of each other whilst still using one burner.
• Flat-bottomed pans are the best option for electric hobs as the pan gets full contact with the ring meaning quicker heating.
• Get cleaning your hob rings – burnt food absorbs heat making dirty rings less efficient.
Similarly, Electric Ovens use a lot more energy than Gas Ovens, with average spend totalling £21.08 compared to the £7.60 (2) for gas yearly. See our top tips below for cooking most efficiently with an Electric oven:
• Cooking in batches is a great way to save on energy. Cook as much as possible in the oven at once to ensure all of the space and heat is being used. You could always freeze portions for use later on.
• Don’t open the door whilst cooking, as each time you do heat is lost and more energy is required to get it back up to temperature.
• Defrost food in advance: Defrosting frozen food in the fridge typically cuts cooking food in half!
• Boiling potatoes before roasting them will reduce the amount of time that they take to cook in the oven and therefore reduce energy usage.
• Using glass or ceramic dishes are the most efficient material to use in the oven and may reduce the temperature required for cooking.
• Turning off your electric oven off ten minutes before the end of cooking time, because within this time period it will keep the temperature.
The television is possibly one of the most used electrical appliances in the home, with an average user keeping a television on for 6.5 hours a day – this use could build up annually to a whopping £62.61 (2) depending on the type of TV used.
If you are considering buying a more energy efficient TV, or want to know how to reduce energy use on your current TV, take a look at these tips below:
• If you are on the look out for a new TV, check for the TV’s energy efficiency rating – Buying TV’s with an A or A* rating will save you a considerable amount on your energy bills.
• If you are buying an LCD TV, aim to get a smaller size (<50”), for DLP TV’s it is more efficient to get a larger size (>50”)(5). And be sure that your model uses and LED light source as these use less energy than other bulb types.
• Plasma TV sets are the most energy consuming TV type, so if you watch TV a lot it is best to avoid these models.
• A way to reduce energy use on your current TV is by reducing the back light setting. The backlight is the biggest drain on the power, and the lower you can get the back light, the less power you will use.
• Be sure to not leave your TV on standby! Although possibly one of the most basic tips, turning your TV properly will ensure you’re using a lot less energy.
Last but certainly not least is the Dishwasher – this house hold appliance (used on average 135 times per year) can set you back an estimated £19.44 annually. (1)
Using the following guidelines may help you to reduce the energy usage of your dishwasher and save you some money:
• Before deciding on a dishwasher, be sure to do your research. Websites such as Which? offer great advice on the best energy efficient dishwashers. Also look out for the energy efficiency label which is now featured on home appliances and aim to purchase a dishwasher with an A – A* rating.
• If you aren’t looking for a new dishwasher, then you still may be able to reduce energy usage on your existing appliance. Energy-saving or ECO dishwasher programmes often come as standard, although these will take longer than the main programme, they use the least amount of energy by washing your dishes at lower temperatures.
• Load your dishwasher correctly – aiming for a full load each time. This will save the need for multiple uses. However, be cautious not to overfill as this may result in some dishes not being cleaned properly.
And there you have it – the Top Five appliances that use the most energy in the home. By following these tips you could see significant savings on your energy bills.
But don’t forget – one of the most costly sources of energy use in the home is your heating – so why not ready our 10 Tips to Save Money and Stay Warm This Winter for ways to keep cosy at a low cost over the cold months.