Environmental issues have been one of the main talking points in the news recently. With people becoming more aware of how their actions can impact our planet in a negative way, more people than ever before have been doing their bit to help. You’re probably used to sorting your cans, glass and plastic into the recycling bins, reusing your carrier bags and other small eco-friendly actions, but what else can you do to help?
You can start making your home eco-friendlier by getting the most out of your household appliances. Not only is this a greener way to live, it will also save you money in the long run! Although purchasing new appliances is a good idea (newer models tend to be more energy efficient), this isn’t really a realistic or affordable idea for everyone. Luckily, we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to get the most out of your old appliances, so you can live a greener life at home!
Turn down the temperature
Boilers have a lifespan of around 15 years, but if you have an older model you can still improve its efficiency. Simply 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 colder wash
Turning down your wash from 60 degrees to 40 is one of the easiest ways to save energy for your household. Opt to wash your clothes on a cold wash setting for the following benefits beyond saving the planet:
- Protect colour vibrancy
- Protect elastics
- Better stain removal (warm water actually keeps the stain in!)
- Money saving
Air dry your dishes
You should always wait until the dishwasher is fully loaded before setting it off. Also, be sure to have your full load placed efficiently in the dishwasher to fit in as much as possible without compromising on cleaning. If your model has a drying cycle, it’s a good idea to turn this off and let your dishes dry naturally. You can open the door at the end and leave them overnight to dry off.
Clean your dryer filter
Tumble dryers are extremely handy when you’re in a hurry, however they can waste energy if you’re ot careful. The filters are meant to be cleaned after every use, but everyone has forgotten once or twice…Clear out any lint that has gathered in the filter, then pour a little water on the filter screen to see if the water passes 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!
Switch it off
This next point is something that we have all done at one point or another – leaving our TV’s and electronics on standby at night. 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.
The Energy Saving Trust recently reported that we spend an additional £30 every year just from leaving our appliances on standby. Spending £30 for something you’re not using isn’t good, and worse, it’s not good for the environment. So, be sure to check your switches and make sure that all of your devices are properly turned off before going to bed.
Keep things running smoothly
No one likes a cold house, but it’s just as uncomfortable to sit in an overly warm home. If you are lucky enough to have an air conditioning unit in your home, 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.
Check behind the fridge
Fridges last quite a long time – up to 20 years. But if your fridge is coming up for replacement, an eco-friendly model is definitely the way to go. But 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. 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.
Refrigerator coil brushes are fairly inexpensive and can be ordered online. 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.
Running an eco-friendly home won’t cost you a thing – in fact, you’re likely to make some big savings. 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.