Saving energy when using refrigerators and freezers
There are some simple things you can do to save energy when installing or using a refrigerator or freezer:
- Choose a cool position. Placing a fridge or freezer in direct sunlight or next to an oven or other heat source can increase energy consumption substantially.
- Make sure there's plenty of air flow around the back. Never put a refrigerator or freezer in an unventilated cupboard.
- Clean the condenser coils on the back occasionally (if there are any) - it makes a difference to the performance!
- Don't open the door more frequently than you need to; and make sure the door seal is clean and tight. Don't leave the door open, especially if you are indecisive!
- Don't set the temperature too low. A change of one degree can effect energy consumption by 5%. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Freezers should operate at -15°C to -18°C while fresh food compartments should be held at around 3°C to 4°C. But warm internal temperatures can mean that food will not keep as long. Remember that the temperature will vary depending on whether the compressor is operating or not.
- In freezers, food packages should be scattered and should never be grouped or stacked together until they are completely frozen.
- When away for a longer period, turn off, empty and clean the refrigerator and leave the door ajar.
Saving Energy when using a clothes washer
There are some simple things you can do to save energy when using a clothes washer:
- Use cold water whenever possible (or the coolest wash temperature that provides acceptable performance). But remember that cold water supply temperatures are colder in winter so you may need to add a little warm water in the colder seasons!
- Dissolving powder detergents before you add it to the washer is good practice for all wash temperatures and will certainly improve the performance in cold water (some machines require powder to be added in a draw).
- Adjust the water level to suit the load size that you are washing. Use an automatic water level function (load detection) if it is available.
- Wash a full load rather than several smaller loads where possible, and try to group clothes by fabric and color, and by how dirty they are. For example, try to wash a whole load of lightly soiled items with cold water, rather than adding a pair of overalls that need a heavier cycle and a warmer wash.
Saving Energy when using a clothes dryer
There are some simple things you can do to save energy when using a clothes dryer:
- Use the sun whenever you can; it's the most environmentally friendly dryer of all!
- Don't overload the dryer; it means a longer drying time (using more electricity), can cause wrinkles and drying unevenness.
- Don't put soaking wet clothes in a dryer. They should have as much moisture removed as possible beforehand - usually by putting them through the spin cycle in the clothes washer. The faster the spin speed the better, so set the spin speed at the fastest level if there is an option. Most clothes washers can separately spin items that have been hand washed prior to drying.
- Don't mix heavyweight (eg jeans) and lightweight articles in the same load.
- DDon't overdry. It causes creases and makes fabrics feel harsh, as well as wasting electricity. Use autosensing programs if you have them - test them to see which suits your needs best.
- Always clean the lint filter after use. A clogged filter consumes more energy and may become a fire hazard if unattended.
Saving Energy when using a dishwashers
There are some simple things you can do to save energy when using a dishwasher:
- Run the dishwasher only when it's full.
- Load according to the manufacturer's instructions; clean and maintain the dishwasher as recommended (clean the filter regularly for instance).
- Use the most economical program that gives you a satisfactory wash result - with the lowest temperature or shortest running time.
- Use economy drying options if available, or try eliminating power drying altogether (many machines have this setting). If your machine allows it, open the door after the final rinse cycle is completed to assist with air drying while the load is still hot.