Appliance Energy and Water Saving Tips
With the current economic climate, the idea of energy wasteage is a more prominent issue than ever in the mind of today’s consumer, especially when it comes to the main culprits: Appliances. Having said that, here’s a few tips and tricks to help you save energy (and money) without leading to costly repair bills from cutting corners.
- Keep your fridge away from direct sunlight and other heat producing appliances (if possible). Having extra heat around the refrigerator will make it work harder and use more energy to do the same amount of work.
- Clean the door seals with a mild soap twice a year to prevent them from wearing, drying, cracking and splitting. To test their effectiveness place a piece of paper between the seal and the fridge, if it holds then you should be OK for the moment, otherwise run your hand around and if you notice cold air leaking then it may be time to look at a new door seal (or door gasket as it may be called)
- Run a vacuum around the compressor and condensor coils twice a year as dirt, dust and hair can accumulate and make the fridge work harder to do the same job.
- In summer limit the amount of times you open the door, as each time you do, it loses you cold air and the fridge has to regenerate that cold air.
- Leave some space between your fridge and the wall, this allows for better airflow to the condensor coils and easier dissipation of heat the accumulates which means your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard.
- Keep the fridge and freezer moderately full, as cold items in either compartment help maintain the temperature which means once again, it’s less work for the fridge itself.
- If you’re considering upgrading that old washing machine, consider a front loader as they’re approximately 70% more efficient on water.
- A lot of people suggest washing in cold water. It’s true that this will save energy by not having to heat water, but we’ve found it to be a bad idea as cold water does not effectively dissolve detergent, which will end up leaving you with hard clothes and an eventual buildup of a black gummy substance in your washing machine called ‘scrud’. Scrud is always first identified when it starts coming off on clothes and they start coming out dirtier than they went in, and by that stage you’ve got yourself a substantial buildup. Generally speaking, if the buildup is only small though, you can put a cup of vinegar in your washer and run it through a cycle with no clothes. This should help take care of the problem.
- When using your washer, try and make a full load as they use the same amount of energy and water (especially front loaders) to wash 1 item or 15.
- If you’re using a dryer, use the highest speed spin cycle on your washer to take as much moisture out of your clothes. This will minimise the amount of work your dryer is required to do.
- Save turning your dishwasher on until you’ve got enough dishes to fill it full. A dishwasher will use the same amount of water and electricity to clean 1 dish or 40. Just be sure to stack it so everything can come into contact with water spray, thereby making sure you don’t need to re-wash anything.
- You can save water by not pre-rinsing dishes, however, you should always scrape any scraps into the bin so they don’t get caught in the filter and cause your problems down the track.
- Run your dishwasher if off-peak electricity periods, this can save you money in some states.
Oven and Cooktop
- Try not to open the door very often. Doing so lets the heat escape and the oven then has to regenerate the heat that was lost. This also means that the meal will take longer to cook.
- If you’re doing a big bake up, then try to put more than one dish in at a time to take full advantage of the heat generated by the unit.
- Use the correct sized pan for your cooktop burner as this will allow the heat to be better distributed.