In a perfect world, we’d all have the appropriate funds in our budgets to replace our old, inefficient appliances with top quality, high efficiency Energy Star machines. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of us in the GTA, that’s simply not an option. Even a single upgrade can end up costing multiple hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars. When you don’t have that kind of extra money lying around, there’s no way you can switch out all of your appliances for eco-friendly models.
But just because you don’t have the budget for a massive overhaul doesn’t mean you should have to lose out on the green benefits of environmentally friendly machines. By making simple adjustments to your habits, you can cut down on your energy consumption and lower the cost of your utility bills. In the interest of the environment and your chequebook, we’ve focused on 5 household appliances and offered easy ways to make them greener.
We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again: only use your dishwasher when it’s full. While a dishwasher is technically more efficient than washing by hand, this is only true when you fit as many dishes in its cabinet as possible. As you wait for the dishwasher to fill up over the day, choose one glass as your designated water cup for the day. That way you won’t be dirtying any more dishes than you have to. If your schedule allows, only use your dishwasher during off-peak times
If you have an older model, there’s no way it can use the same miniscule amount of water that Energy Star machines do during a single load. It will always be a water guzzler, using as many as 150 litres for a single load. What you can do is by choosing its temperature setting. When you choose to do your laundry with cold water, you can save up to 90% of the energy used for washing clothes. There are a variety of detergents on the market that work in tandem with colder temperatures. Be sure to choose those products that are biodegradable and phosphate free. Not only are these bereft of harsh chemicals that are toxic for the environment but they’re also gentler on your skin.
Now that we’ve hit June, the easiest way to make your dryer green is by not using it. Hanging out your wet laundry to dry may take longer, but the wind and sun are two resources that don’t cost a thing. If your busy schedule doesn’t let you take advantage of your clothesline, make sure the lint filter is cleaned regularly and reconsider your use of dryer sheets, which can contain harsh chemicals.
Recall how every recipe starts off with pre-heating your oven. Then what follows ends up taking you 30 minutes or more to prepare. When your oven only takes 5 minutes to preheat, that means your appliance is on for a lot longer than it has to be. A good rule of thumb is to preheat your oven when you know you’re almost done preparing your meal, and don’t worry about placing your dishes in before it’s arrived at your preferred temperature. You can also increase the efficiency of your oven by using glass or ceramic baking dishes, as these retain heat better than other materials.
The trick to making your fridge energy efficient is to keep it cool and clean. This won’t come as a surprise to our regular readers, as this is a piece of advice we always mention in our posts about fridges. There’s a reason for our repetition. By regulating the temperature, you’ll ensure your fridge isn’t working any harder than it has to. Stick to 4 degrees Celsius for the refrigerator and -18 degrees Celsius for your freezer.
It might not seem like much, but making these small changes to your daily habits can have a huge impact on the energy you use in your home, proving you don’t need the latest Energy Star appliance in order to run a green household. Though far from perfect, even old machines have green potential. If, however, your antiquated appliance is looking worse for wear, give us a call. We can keep even the oldest models in great repair, and our fast, efficient, and affordable work can delay the financial burden of appliance upgrades. Together, we can save both the environment and your chequebook!