Home appliances energy efficiency tips
Worried about your increasing electricity bills? Check out our simple tips to reduce energy consumption of your refrigerator, air conditioner and washing machine.
Many household appliances can increase your electricity bills significantly if not handled properly. Your refrigerator and air conditioner are the biggest reasons for your inflated energy bills. But if you apply these easy tips at home your energy consumption can be reduced considerably.
Increase the temperature Most household fridges are set to temperatures below what’s required to keep food from spoiling. According to the US Government’s energy efficiency board, a refrigerator setting of 2 ⁰C and a freezing temperature of -17 ⁰C is sufficient. Every extra degree that your fridge cools has a direct impact on energy consumption.
Disable the automatic ice maker Switch to the old way of making ice in trays instead of using the automatic ice maker. This feature is one of the biggest contributors to energy consumption.
Avoid storage on top of fridges Avoid storing things over your fridge at any cost. Refrigerators generally let heat escape from the top and blocking those paths can make the compressor have to work harder. Blocked heat paths can also reduce your fridge’s lifespan.
Check the door seal If your refrigerator door is not shut properly, energy is wasted as cool air keeps escaping. Clean it regularly and replace the seal if it is worn out. An easy way to check if the door seal is still working is to place a piece of paper at the edge of the door and shut the fridge. If the paper comes out easily, the seals need to be replaced.
Clean the condenser coil and vents Dust collecting on the coil and ventilation exits of a refrigerator limits circulation of air and makes your fridge work harder than necessary. Increase its energy efficiency by regularly vacuuming the coil.
Don’t keep your fridge next to heat sources In most houses, refrigerators are placed in the kitchen. While this may be convenient to reach food and cooking ingredients, the heat generated in kitchens due to gas stoves and ovens makes your fridge work harder to maintain the temperature inside.
Raise the temperature As far as possible, set the temperature to 24 ⁰C. The air conditioner utilizes nine per cent more energy for each degree lower than this.
Switch on the ceiling fan By switching off the ceiling fan when your air conditioner is on, you’re probably harming its energy efficiency. It is recommended that a ceiling fan be kept on when your air conditioner is running, as it helps circulate cool air evenly across the room. This allows the AC to reach its set temperature easily and save on electricity costs.
Shade your cooling unit As far as possible, it’s advised to keep the cooling unit of the air conditioner under a shade, and away from sunlight. The cooler the unit is, the faster it can attain the set temperature inside the room. According to the energy efficiency board, a properly shaded cooling unit is ten per cent more energy efficient than an uncovered one.
Keep the AC fan on auto mode By default most air conditioners have their fan set to a pre-determined level. It is not necessary for the fan to run constantly and it can be set to auto mode, helping your AC utilize this energy to attain the desired temperature quickly.
Check your room for leaks Check holes around plumbing, wiring, doors and windows for any air leaks in your room. Air leaks account for over twenty five per cent of your cooling cost. Window air leaks can be plugged by covering them with curtains. Ensure that your doors do not have spaces under them that allow cool air to pass through.
Regular servicing Have your air conditioner serviced regularly by a technician to check for coolant levels and to clean coils. Airflow over the cooling coils also needs to be checked on a regular basis. Changing the filter ensures better airflow, making it work less to cool your room.
Wash only full loads Instead of using your washing machine multiple times to clean clothes, switch it on when you have a full load. Running your washing machine fewer times will save electricity.
Use cold washes It’s better to use cold water to save electricity. If you need a hot wash, it’s advisable to get the water heated externally through a geyser.
Opt for a front-loading washing machine A front-loading washing machine gives you great electricity and water efficiency. However, they can be more expensive than top-loading washing machines. For more on which one you should choose, go here.
Install a water filter If you get borewell or hard water where you live, its best to install a water filter. The mineral content of the water can clog your washing machine screens and slow down the water flow. This makes your appliance work a lot harder and consume more energy.
Clean screen and pipes Regularly getting rid of dirt and sediment building up on screens and pipes is a good way of increasing your washing machine’s efficiency. It’s advised that you clean the screen and pipes at least once in three months to ensure unobstructed passage of water.