Energy efficient appliances can save you money on your energy consumption in Australia. It’s sometimes hard to imagine just how much money is lost on appliances, because we often forget to keep track. They are just there in the background. But appliances can actually account for up to 30 per cent of your home energy consumption! When thinking about it that way, it makes a lot of sense to upgrade to energy efficient products.
Buying the products is a big part of making the switch, but how you use those products also makes a difference. Turning off appliances and washing with cold water instead of warm are just two examples. Let’s look at all the things you should think about when it comes to energy saving devices.
Are energy efficient products really cheaper than grandma’s old fridge?
Many of us have old electrical appliances that we inherited from family members, and which still work just fine. If your twenty year old oven still has a special place in the kitchen, it can be hard to let go. It may even seem more expensive getting a new one rather than making the old one last a while longer. Why would you cash out for something new and expensive when your fifteen year old tumble dryer is holding up just fine?
A new product will always be more expensive than the appliance you already have, at least when it comes to the cash you will have to initially give out. But buying new energy efficient products isn’t just better for the environment. It will also cost you less in energy in the long run.
If you buy your appliance from new and have to choose between energy saving devices or devices with a higher consumption of energy, it’s usually better to go for the energy saving product. Most of them are a bit more expensive to buy, but you will get that money back eventually in electricity bills.
Less energy consumption also reduces greenhouses gasses which helps reverse climate change.
There is no definite answer to whether or not you should ditch your old machine and go for a new energy efficient device. If you can pay out the cash, the energy consumption will be better and save you money down the road. However, buying new isn’t always an option. So ask yourself what is viable for you.
If you do want to invest in energy saving devices, here are a few tips to get you started.
How to buy energy efficient appliances
It can be a good idea to look for a few different things when investing in an energy efficient device. That way, you will make sure that you get the most out of it as well as cut back on your energy consumption as much as possible. Here are a few things to think about when purchasing energy efficient products.
Look for the Energy Rating Label
Energy efficient devices have come a long way recently. Many appliances sold in Australia have a label called the Energy Rating Label that shows you how much electricity the device uses. The label makes it easier for consumers to choose and also incentivises manufacturers to make appliances that are less energy consuming.
Buy only what you need
A big part of acquiring energy efficient appliances is to only buy what you need. Buy a product that fits the size of your kitchen and provides enough space for what you need it for. A smaller device will take up less energy, so if you don’t need the extra space of a large oven or refrigerator for example, it will pay off to get a smaller size.
There are dishwashers, ovens, fridges and so on in every possible size. It’s entirely possible to customize your choice, so you pick no more and no less than what you need. Get a dishwasher that is small enough to hold only what you need in one wash. Make sure you won’t have perpetual empty shelves in your fridge, and that your oven doesn’t need to heat up a large space if you know you are only going to cook for two people. You get the idea.
How to save money on your devices after bringing them home
Buying your device is of course a big part of the money you are going to spend on it. That is why it’s so important to buy the right thing. However, there is still more money to be saved after you bring it home. How you use it and where you put it also matters.
Position your energy saving device in the right place
Positioning your device in the right spot sometimes makes a difference to how much energy it consumes. What’s better than making an already energy consuming product even more efficient? Use common sense when deciding where to put your appliances. The refrigerator shouldn’t go next to the oven for example, as the heat will make it have to work harder to keep your food cool.
You should also keep fridges and freezer separated by 5-8 cm if you want to save energy. This ensures good air circulation. If you don’t do this you could add up to 15 per cent of the energy price.
Follow the manufacturer’s care instruction
The better your machine works, the better it will run and the longer it will last. It saves you energy over time and of course also prevents expensive repair bills.
Keep your fridge and freezer at the right temperature
There is no need for your fridge or freezer to be colder than it has to be. You pay about 5 per cent more energy every time you set your appliance to a lower temperature. So even if you only have your fridge or freezer a little colder than you have to, you still get to pay a more expensive energy bill. The recommended temperature for the fridge is 3 to 4 degrees Celcius while it’s -15 to -18 for your freezer.
Can smart gadgets save you energy and money?
Smart gadgets are devices that make your home and life smarter. It could be anything from vacuum cleaners that clean your house on their own to water bottles that let you know if you are hydrated enough. While many of these are fun and entertaining at most, a few of them could help you decrease your energy bill.
One of the most innovative smart gadgets on the market today is the smart bulb. You can find different varieties of these, but the concept is always the same. The smart bulb allows you to customize your light settings, and turn it on and off with an app. You can set in advance when you want the light to turn on or off, and you can control the intensity of the light. The bulb can also be used as an alarm clock, by gradually increasing the light in the morning. Or you can set it to turn on when you come home. Usually these lights will be LEDs that last longer than normal lights. So except from the money you can save on having only the lights on you want at a given time, with the intensity you need, you often also get a bulb with a longer life time and lower energy consumption.
There are also many other energy saving gadgets on the market. Other examples are smart radiators that allow you to control the heat in your room, and smart faucets that are designed to avoid wasting water. Thermal leak detectors can help you find where your house is poorly insulated, so you can do something about it. You can also get a shower meter that gets charged by the water running in your shower. It runs completely without electricity, and gives you real life information on how hot your water is, and how much you have used.
Even solar panel garden lights are considered a smart gadget. It practically consumes zero energy and can last for a long time.
The smart gadget market is huge at the moment, so you can find anything from smart fridges to smart cleaners. Many of these won’t make a big difference to your energy bill – but some of them might.
How can you save money on your energy bill?
There are many different ways of saving money on your energy bill. Most people use a mix of these different strategies. Your choice depends on what works best for you.
One thing you can do is to buy an energy saving appliance that has a good Energy Rating Label, and that isn’t too big for your needs. The next step is to maintain it right, so you make sure to utilize all the energy saving properties and extend its lifetime. Smart gadgets are also an option. Some smart gadgets are designed not only to help you simplify your life but also to be more enduring and energy efficient.
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