Four tricks you may be missing to help reduce your energy bills

Nearly half of households are still washing their clothes at 40°C or over (Image: newcastle chronicle)

Household appliances are the biggest electricity-guzzlers in most people’s homes, with studies indicating that up to 30% of an average electricity bill is generated in the kitchen.

Lots of families have ditched their oven in favour of an air fryer and given their tumble dryer the cold shoulder to save money, but according to appliance manufacturer AEG, we could still do better when it comes to getting the most out of our appliances and saving the pennies.

AEG’s study found that 73% of families have become more conscious about wasting energy due to escalating expenses, while 93% are now making a deliberate attempt to reduce their energy bills. AEG surveyed 2,000 households to learn about their energy-saving habits and knowledge, and have highlighted four ways families could do better when it comes to wasting energy.

1. Remember to defrost your fridge freezer

One in five (19%) have never defrosted their fridge freezer, while 40% leave it longer than recommended, the study found, potentially adding to energy bills. Large amounts of ice build-up can restrict airflow inside the appliance, making the fan work harder to keep the temperatures cool. Not only does this increase energy usage, but also decreases the shelf life of freezer food.

With age comes wisdom, as 53% of those aged 55 and over defrost their freezer at least once per year compared to just 24% of those aged 16-34. Michael Forbes, product specialist at AEG, recommends that users defrost their freezers at least once a year to avoid any excessive ice build-up. But 40% of Brits leave it longer than a year before taking the icy plunge.

2. Know what temperature your fridge should be set at

Fridges should be set at the correct temperature to prevent the appliance from overworking– this too will help to reduce energy bills overtime. Previous studies from AEG highlighted that 37% don’t know what temperature their fridges should be, which is a near constant temperature between 0°C and 5°C.

And 67% also believe that by storing food correctly in the fridge it saves money on household bills. If food is stored correctly, not only does it last longer but it improves a fridges efficiency thereby reducing its electricity consumption.

3. Dial down the heat when washing clothes

When it comes to clothes washing habits, many laundry detergents are now suitable for use at 20°C to better benefit the environment. Despite this, 40% are still washing their laundry at 40°C and over, with the worst culprits being those aged between 16 and 25.

Although half (51%) are washing their clothes at 30°C, only one-third (33%) of those aged 16-24 have adopted this practice. This increases to 45% for those aged 25-34 and 53% for those ages 35-54. However, those aged 55 and over are making an active effort in keeping their wash cold, as 58% of them are washing their clothes at 30 degrees.

Many are also breaking the 30°C rule for towels and bedding with a quarter (25%) always washing these at a higher temperature. A further one in five (20%) believe that by washing their clothes at higher temperature it leaves them cleaner. Cooler settings on washing machines are cheaper to run because the cooler the wash, the less energy needed to heat the water. Running a wash on as low as 30°C will not only save money but leave clothes feeling equally fresh, all while preserving fabrics for clothes to last longer.

4. Look after your appliances

Although modern-day appliances are built to be durable, proper care and maintenance of appliances will not only improve their efficiency, but it will also lengthen their lives. And alarmingly, 16% do not take any measures to maintain their appliances. It’s recommended that the inside of a washing machine should be wiped clean on weekly basis to avoid residue build-up. The data revealed that two in five (42%) do in fact regularly deep clean their washing machines as well cleaning out their tumble dryer filter.

Experts agree that a home oven should be cleaned on average every three months to ensure food quality is kept at its best. Although one of the most important appliances in the home, only a third (36%) are regularly cleaning their ovens.


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