Energy efficiency is a golden phrase right now – it denotes an investment into the future as we try to implement it in our everyday lives and jobs. Household appliances are well-known and voracious “energy eaters”, which means we have to pay extra attention to devising ways to “cut corners” when it comes to electricity expenditure. If you are interested in some of these methods, there are greener ways to use your household appliances.
Think about refrigeration
The refrigerator is probably the most important appliance of modern homes – it is where we keep our foods and beverages on minimal temperatures to keep them safe for later consumption, so it is crucial to keep them in good shape but also energy efficient. The first thing you should do is find the “golden” temperature – not too cold because the fridge will literally eat up electricity and not too mild either, because the food will melt and the fridge will become mold and bacteria-infested.
The safest temperature is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the fridge is always clean, stacked up with food (otherwise, what is the point) and open it with a specific purpose. Even when the fridge is open for a few seconds, the cold air will leave and it will need some time to build to the original temperature. These are all small tricks that pile up and determine how energy efficient you actually are.
Those wondrous microwaves
The microwave is one of the most prevalent and important household items in a modern home. It is perfect for reheating food and, by design, it is much more energy efficient than a stove which takes a lot of time to heat up. Also, it’s important to mention that microwaves are more energy-efficient than ovens. Therefore, when cooking small meals, it is actually a better option. However, there are a few tricks you can employ to make it even greener. First of all, avoid using the microwave for defrosting. It sucks up an amazing amount of energy.
Now, it is true sometimes we all end up in a situation when we are in a bind and need something defrosted really fast. In this case, using the microwave is the only option, but you should go out of your way to take into account a natural thawing of food on room temperature and arrange your cooking plans according to this. You can also save energy by opening a microwave several seconds before it finishes.
As far as washing is concerned
Washing machines are a double whammy – they tend to spend a lot of electricity and precious water to keep your clothes clean. Thankfully, many modern corporations spend a lot of time developing “green” modes for their appliances and the same goes for washing machines and dishwashers. If your washing machine is older than a decade, it is high time to buy the new one that has an “ecological” mode built into its system. The key thing is to choose one out of a range of efficient washing machines that suits your home and needs perfectly.
Likewise, many people choose to wash their dishes with hands, utilizing the old “kitchen sink” approach. The reasoning seems quite sound on the surface – dishwashing machines spend both water and electricity, and this way, you are saving at least on one of the bills. In practical terms, however, you will spend more water than the dishwasher in order to rinse off all your dishes and, as mentioned above, contemporary devices (as the new generation of Miele dishwashers, for instance) come with the eco mode.
Achieving energy efficiency and staying in the “green zone” as far as you household is concerned seems like an impossible task. However, with a little bit of effort and solid knowledge, we can all make these tweaks and changes that do not have to be particularly life altering. As the old saying goes – the most difficult part is to begin. Once you start paying attention and muster a will to change, going green becomes much easier than you think.