When we are trying to save energy at home, we’ll most often pay attention to the obvious things – like turning off the lights when we’re not using them, or turning down the thermostat to save our precious home heating oil from being wasted. But what about those hidden energy drains?
Appliances use a lot of energy, and because they’re always in use we don’t notice them, or the amount of energy they’re using. Things like the fridge and the oven are appliances we can’t live without, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any changes we can make to help them work more efficiently. Here are some handy energy saving tips when using fridges and ovens that could help save you money.
- Go green: Look for the appliance energy rating sticker on your fridge and oven and find out how energy efficient they are. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland explains what information these stickers will have, and where you’ll find them. If you’re purchasing a new kitchen appliance, this should be your first piece of research, and you should always look for the A rating or higher to ensure that your new appliance won’t be a drain on your energy. While this might seem like a big initial cost, you’ll see benefits in the long term.
- If you’re not at the stage of buying a new appliance just yet, there are still steps you can take to reduce your energy usage and save money. Check the thermostat settings in your fridge – the correct temperature for a fridge should be between 3-5o If it’s set any cooler, it will not only use more energy trying to maintain this temperature but it can also spoil fresh food by destroying nutrients.
- We all love our leftovers (why is it they always taste so much better the next day?!) but if you are putting hot food into your cold fridge you are wasting energy as your fridge has to work harder to maintain the constant cool temperature inside. Let them cool first before wrapping up and saving them for lunch the next day.
- Check the seals of your fridge to make sure they are still in good working order. This is the part of the fridge that can see first signs of wear and tear, so it’s a good idea to check these regularly.
- Your oven can work more efficiently for you if you cook food in batches, and save these leftovers (as above!) for use later in the week, instead of starting from scratch every time when cooking.
- A fan assisted oven will also help you save more energy, as it allows you to set the temperature at a lower level. You can also turn your oven off 10 minutes before the food is due to come out as it will still maintain this temperature inside to continue cooking without using any energy, as long as the seals are still working properly, so make sure to check the condition of your seals here too.