In the week that World leaders once again meet to discuss how exactly we can save the planet, nobody could deny that the world is becoming more eco-aware. Single Use has become the phrase of the year as we see just how much plastic is suffocating our oceans and how our carbon emissions are putting the world at risk and seeing the return of ‘Smog’ (London reached its whole year’s quota for air toxins in under one month this year!). The good news is that the awareness is seeing people taking a renewed pride in defending our planet for both our generation, and that of our children.
Recycling your cans and plastics, trying to use the car less and walk more help. But when it comes to our homes and appliances, it seems all advice is centred on buying new products that are greener. This is sound advice, but is also expensive, especially if you current products still have life in them. So what can you do to do your part to help reduce carbon emissions and have an energy-efficient home or workplace? How can you save the Earth without costing the Earth?
Ventilation and Refrigeration experts, Daikin have been looking at the best ways to transform existing appliances into better, more efficient, greener versions.
Night-time stand-by is a no-no
Hands up, who does it – leaving the TV on standby all night. Charging our phones overnight when they really don’t need that long. Games consoles left to hum away in the dark. If you’re looking to lower your bills and your carbon footprint, switch them off completely before you go to bed.
We do this for convenience, but spending money for nothing is just not sensible.According to Energy Saving Trust, the average UK home spends £30 every year just on appliances left on standby. You are using extra energy and spending money needlessly. When you switch off, switch them off too.
Save a few degrees
Your boiler should be ideally replaced every 15 years, but your old boiler can still do a better job of being eco-friendly with a few easy changes. Simply turn the thermostat down a few degrees and turn it off at night. I work from home and yet never turn the heating on during the day, or have it on a timer so it comes on regardless of whether you are there or not. Grab a thicker jumper and use those radiators when you really need them.
Like your boiler, fridges tend to last a while; around 10 to 20 years. But if your fridge is coming up for replacement, an eco-friendly model is definitely the way to go.
But what about your current fridge. Did you know you should clean the coils that are located on the bottom, top or back? According to Architectural Digest, cleaning the coils of your fridge can encourage better energy use.
Just remember to empty and then turn your fridge off before you start, Use a small brush to clean away debris and dust.
Next is your tumble-dryer. The filters are meant to be cleaned after every use, but we don’t always do this.
Clear out any lint that has gathered in the filter, then pour a little water on the filter screen to see if the water passes through. If it doesn’t and pools on top of the filter, your filter needs a thorough cleaning. Warm soapy water should do the trick.
Cold water clean
Your washing machine can be easily more environmentally sound by cooling down a little. Opt to wash your clothes on a cold wash setting for the following benefits beyond saving the planet:
- Protect colour vibrancy
- Protect elastics
- Better stain removal (warm water actually keeps the stain in!)
- Money saving
If you tend to wash at 40 degrees, try cutting this down to 30 for all but the most stubborn of washes.
Never use your dishwasher for half a load, fit as much in as possible to avoid using energy needlessly. Another great idea comes from Tree Hugger who advise you should turn off the drying cycle. Open the door at the end and leave them overnight to dry off.
A good air-conditioning unit can provide effective relief from an overly-warm home. But, like any other appliance, it needs a little TLC every now and again to keep it working effectively and prevent any overuse of energy.
Greener Ideal recommends getting a professional out to inspect your air-conditioning unit to make sure it is still running efficiently and effectively. If your system is making any strange noises, best to give a professional a call.
There’s plenty of ways older appliances can still do their bit to be environmentally friendly! Take these tips on board and your appliances will work just as good, but be far more eco friendly.Them when the time does come to replace your older appliances, be sure to keep in mind whether or not it is energy efficient.