With eco-related issues becoming increasingly apparent on the news and in everyday life, more and more people have been taking the initiative to do their bit for the planet. If you’ve been recycling your plastics, cycling into work rather than taking the car, or investing in reusable drinks containers, you’re on the right track – but there are a number of other ways to make a difference at home. This helpful guide will give you everything you need to transform your old appliances into more eco-friendly versions of themselves:
Investing in a more eco-friendly fridge is never a bad idea – but you may also be able to make the most of your older model with just a few adjustments. Let’s focus on your current fridge. When was the last time you cleaned the coils? According to Architectural Digest, cleaning the coils of your fridge can encourage better energy use.
Look for your fridge coils on the top, bottom or back of the appliance. Turn your fridge off before you start, and remove the base grill if the coils are on the top or bottom, or pull your fridge carefully out so you can see the coils at the back. With a refrigerator coil brush, you can brush out any dirt or debris that has gathered on the coils. Take the opportunity to sweep the floor too! Then, pop everything back in place. Be sure to wear gloves, and be careful when moving your fridge — if it’s too heavy, ask for help moving it.
Boilers typically last for around 15 years, so it might not be time for you to replace your old model just yet. Simply turn the thermostat down a few degrees and turn it off at night. You’ll sleep better if your body can cool down anyway, and a few degrees less during the day won’t make you uncomfortable. Consider popping another layer on next time you reach to turn up the thermostat, as usually, this is enough to warm you up!
We have all gone to bed before without remembering to turn the TV off at the wall. 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.
The Energy Saving Trust reports that the average household in the UK spends £30 each year by leaving appliances on overnight. Spending £30 for something you’re not using isn’t good, and worse, it’s not good for the environment. So, when you’re doing your check around the house that all the windows and doors are locked before going to bed, be sure to cast a quick eye to your plugs and devices and switch them off properly before hitting the hay.
It’s a good idea to eco-proof your home during the summer months too. 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 well 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 are many ways to ensure that your home or workplace are energy efficient. For example, if you’re looking to replace an old, noisy air conditioning unit, your main focus might be on a quiet model. But don’t neglect to check how eco-friendly it is!
Perhaps the easiest way to save energy at home is to turn down the temperature of your wash cycle by a few degrees. Opt to wash your clothes on a cold wash setting for the following benefits beyond saving the planet:
- Protect the vibrancy of your colours
- Save money
- Easy stain removal
- Protect elastics
Next, turn your attention to the tumble dryer. The filters are meant to be cleaned after every use, but everyone has forgotten once or twice…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. Give it a good scrubbing in soapy, warm water, then rinse it off and try pouring a little water through again. If it still pools a little, repeat your soap-water attack on the filter!
Before setting your dishwasher off, it’s important to make sure it is completely full with dishes. Also, be sure to have your full load placed efficiently in the dishwasher to fit in as much as possible without compromising on cleaning. Tree Hugger advises that, if your model has the option to, turn off its drying cycle and just let your dishes air dry. You can open the door at the end and leave them overnight to dry off.