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Over the past few months, there has been a large buzz surrounding the energy efficiency rating of new homes, with landlords being slapped with fines if their homes fail to meet the UK minimum standard of D.


But what about appliances in the home?

Most of the electricity used in the average UK home comes down to large appliances, such as Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers, Dishwashers, Fridge Freezers and Electric Ovens.

One way to reduce the overall electricity consumption of a home is to begin turning off appliances when they are not in use. It is widely known that devices such as laptops and TVs almost always consume energy as they go into standby mode rather than turning off completely.

But did you know that larger appliances function in the same manner? Large appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers continue to use electricity when not in use, unless they are turned off at the plug.

The figures suggested by Magnet UK are very surprising! In most cases, the larger appliances will use roughly 20% of the electricity used to run them even while not in use. On a day-by-day basis this will amount to pennies, but over the course of a week, a month or a year, the numbers do start to grow rather large, especially when the accumulative total of all large appliances is considered.

The most expensive appliances commonly used in homes are dishwashers, estimated to be used for 1,000 hours a year, consuming 1.3 million watts of energy, and using costing the average household £268.

Dishwashers, in terms of cost to run, are closely followed by fridge freezers, these appliances are essential to avoid excessive waste. Designed to be operating constantly, these appliances understandably consume a considerable amount of energy over the course of a year.

It is estimated that fridge freezers are running for 8,800 hours every year, consuming 1.3 million watts of energy at a cost of £258.

Following fridge freezers, are Tumble Dryers, slow cookers, and gas ovens, costing £135, £85 and £82 per year, respectively.


So how can the average household save money on electricity use?

The research shows that the costliest appliance within the home is the dishwasher, you can easily save money by washing dishes by hand more frequently. The next best step that can be taken is to ensure common appliances are switched off when not in use.
By getting into the habit of turning off appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, electric ovens and microwaves you can begin to save money daily. Small amounts, although over years it can add up to be a sizeable sum.

Investing in new energy-efficient home items is a great way to reduce the overall consumption of electricity, such as LED lightbulbs. While spending money to upgrade short term can initially be a large expenditure, the savings on running the electronics can pay dividends in the long run.


Using the appropriately sized appliances

Often bigger is equated as better, especially when it comes to tumble dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges & freezers. But are they too big for your needs? For those who live alone, or just live with their partner, it is worth considering buying smaller capacity versions of these appliances as the larger ones tend to use more electricity.


Extend the life of appliances

By performing regular maintenance on household appliances, you can save money in the long run. This holds especially true for appliances with regular moving parts, such as washing machines and tumble dryers.

Descaling your washing machine every couple of weeks to a month will reduce the consumption of electricity required to heat water and extend the life of your washing machine.

For the household dryer, it is recommended that you clean lint tray after every load, and if it’s a condensing dryer, clean the condensing unit once a month. Doing these maintenance tasks can improve the efficacy of the dryer reducing the run time required for a load to be fully dried and reducing the wear and tear on the moving internal parts & electronics. Also, this is a must to prevent fires.

It is also important to ensure the dryer is placed on a level surface where possible, this reduces the wear on the rotating components, such as the internal drum.


For your washing machine, it is important to clear out all of the detergent build-ups every 4 – 6 weeks.
It is a really simple process, requiring you to pull the detergent drawer all the way out, and then press down a latch or catch found at the back of the drawer.

You can then remove the drawer and clean it out with warm soapy water.

You should also be running the washing machine through a self-cleaning wash every month or so.

This removes any built-up bacteria and allows the machine to clear any old water that is leftover.

If your washing machine does not have a dedicated self-washing mode, you can run it through the cycle manually.

To do this, simply empty the washing machine, add a washing machine cleaning solution of your choice (we recommend the manufacturer’s suggested solution & amount), turn the material type to cotton, and the temperature as high as it can go. Once the cycle has completed, open the door, clear out any excess water where needed, and leave the door open to dry out the interior of the washing machine.


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