When trying to use less energy in the home it’s important to choose energy saving products to support your efforts. If your boiler’s on the blink, washing machine’s is broken, or you’re just considering investing in more energy efficient products, help is at hand to find the best appliances for the environment.
The Energy Saving Trust together with industry professionals and the government, has devised a system of grading household items and brands according to their energy efficiency and impact on the environment. Those that make the grade are awarded Energy Saving Recommended status. Look out for the blue Energy Saving logo on products and select these items instead of less energy efficient models.
Making your house more energy efficient is also vitally important if you are considering putting your property on the market. From June, houses for sale will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as part of the new Home Information Packs (HIPs), which grades your home according to its green credentials. So a good energy rating could have a detrimental effect on your selling price.
There are more energy efficient models for different appliances that you might be aware. Here’s a run through of the main products you can pick up if you’re shopping for new household items.
An energy saving washing machine uses, on average, a third of the energy used as that of a regular model. So a more efficient model is great way of saving money, particularly when you consider that on average households wash 274 cycles a year.
Also try to use your washing machine at a lower temperature. Washing clothes at 40 degrees rather than 60 uses a third less energy and will wash your clothes just as well.
A high efficiency condensing boiler may be a bigger financial investment, but not only could you receive a grant to help you out, but the long term savings will also pay for the initial costs. As the single biggest energy cost in the home, you could save between £190 and £240 a year.
Additionally, you can save 10% on your energy bills simply by turning the thermostat down a degree. And if you’re not planning to replace your boiler, installing an inexpensive boiler jacket helps keep it well insulated and stops it from losing heat.
Dishwashers are a luxury that more and more of us now use– around one in four households. You should only switch on and use if you have a full load to save energy and water. Your dishwasher may also have an economy programme which doesn’t use as much water or electricity, so try to select this rather than a longer and more energy intensive one.
An energy saving dishwasher will also help your environmental efforts, working in the same way as a regular model but using 40% of the energy. This will also save you around £20 a year on your energy bills.
Fridge and Freezer
Fridges and freezers are essential appliances to keep our food fresh, but you can also help reduce your carbon emissions by investing in an energy saving recommended model. These use two thirds less energy. Again, you’ll also benefit by saving nearly £50 a year on your electricity bills.
An awful lot of energy is needed to keep both fridges and freezers cold enough to store your food 24 hours a day. Try and keep them cool at all times to minimise extra energy being used- shut doors properly and quickly after use.
Insulation and Double Glazing
While not, strictly speaking, appliances, adding cavity wall or loft insulation as well as double glazing not only makes your home more energy efficient and better for the environment, but will also add value to your property.
Half of your home’s heat loss is through the roof and walls, so insulating your property is a big energy and money saver. Cavity wall insulation pays for itself after five years and will give you average savings of £130-160 a year on energy bills. Loft insulation will also help reduce CO2 emissions by saving energy.
Double glazing works in the same way, keeping the heat to make your home warm where it should be- inside your home. It’s also an excellent extra security measure.