It is fortunate that the world is becoming increasingly eco-aware. People are now more aware than ever of the environmental impact of plastic use, carbon emissions and the goods and services that they buy. No doubt you’re also doing your bit for the environment at home by dutifully recycling your plastics, cans, and glass. You may even be going the extra mile by leaving the car at home in favour of cycling or walking more.
There is plenty of advice out there on how to become more eco-friendly by making small changes, but a lot of this seems to centre around investing in greener, more energy efficient appliances for your home. Investing in all new appliances can be a long and costly process, however. Luckily, you can help save the planet without having to spend a thing! We’re here to show you how you can make your existing home appliances eco-friendlier, by transforming them into more efficient versions of their former selves.
With the right care, your fridge can last 10 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.
It’s a good idea to invest in a refrigerator coil brush to sweep out any dirt that has gathered around the coils. 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.
Save a few degrees
It is recommended that you replace your boiler every 15 years, but there are ways that you can transform your old boiler into a greener version of itself with just a few small changes. 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!
Tumble dryers are convenient, but they can use up a lot of energy if you’re not 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.
Cold water clean
It’s very easy to save a little energy by simply turning down the temperature of your wash by a few degrees. 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
In order to get the most out of your dishwasher and save as much energy as possible, you should ensure that it is completely full before you start the wash. 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.
An overly warm home is as much of an inconvenience as a cold one. 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.
Nix the night-time stand-by
Our final bit of advice is on something that we’re all guilty of – leaving our electric devices 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 estimates that the average household in the UK wastes £30 a year just by leaving their appliances on standby at night. 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 electric connections and make sure that all of your devices are properly switched off before going to bed.
There are so many ways to make your household appliances more eco-friendly without spending a thing. Take 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.