Appliances account for about 30% of energy use in the average Australian home. It’s not too surprising when you think about the fridges, freezers, washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, TVs, home entertainment systems, computers, laptops and other devices we have in our apartments.
Top tips for saving energy
- When not in use, switch off appliances at the wall (this can save 10%)!
- Set the thermostat of your fridge to the most efficient setting; your fridge should be set at 3° to 5° and your freezer at -15° to -18°.
- Whenever possible, dry your clothes on a clothes line instead of in a clothes-dryer.
- Run your washing machine only on full loads.
- Keep the oven door closed – every time you open the door the temperature in the oven drops by around 5 – 15 degrees.
- Check your fridge seals! Make sure they are airtight and there are no cracks or gaps. If they appear dirty, make sure to clean them.
Before you buy
The best time to improve the energy efficiency of your appliances is before you buy them, so here are some things to think about when buying appliances…
Do I really need it? The sun and a clothesline, and an indoor drying rack for wet weather, have almost no cost compared to a clothes dryer which could cost anywhere between $20 and $200 a year to run. A second fridge or third TV may be unnecessary. Without that extra appliance, think of the savings in buying and running costs, and its environmental impact from manufacture, use and disposal.
If you do need it, choose the right size. A large model with the same star rating as a smaller model uses more energy, costs more to run and generates more greenhouse gas.
Purchase the most efficient appliance available by choosing the highest rating product. Remember the more stars the better! Visit the Energy Rating website for more information.
Did you know your appliances keep drawing on power even when they are turned off? On average it can account for up to 10% of your electricity bills!
Individually each appliance only draws a small amount of power on standby but when you add all the TVs, microwaves, DVD players, washing machines and chargers, it adds up! Often it can be up to $100 per year!
Luckily, really simple actions can help you reduce your standby power and your energy bill.
Make sure to switch off your appliances from the powerpoint!
If the powerpoints are in hard to reach places, consider some of the following options:
- Remote switches: These allow you turn power points on and off using a remote control. Mount the remote next to the light switch so that you can switch off your standby power when turning off the lights!
- Master/slave power board: These are best where you have multiple appliances that are used together, for instance, your entertainment system or computer. The main appliance i.e. the computer or TV is plugged into the master socket, whilst the other appliances such as the speakers, printer, modem are plugged into the slave socket. Whenever you turn off the ‘master’ appliance, all the slave appliances are automatically turned off.
- Direct switches: These devices make it easier to switch off your appliances from the power point by moving the switch to a more convenient location.
- Timer switches: Timer switches can be great for those appliances that you use regularly but may forget about it and are only needed during certain times. For instance, pool pumps, heaters, or extra fridges.