Thursday, July 26, 2007

Energy-part 3

Close-up of Washing Machines in a Laundromat
Close-up of Washing Machines in a Laundromat

The next step has been to look at all the other appliances that are plugged in the majority of the time.

I was surprised to note that the microwave was used for about 3 mins per day but was on standby with clock for the rest of the time. Apparently it uses up 98% of energy when it is on standby so we have unplugged it and only switch it on when needed. It is cumbersome as it asks you to reset the time but as with everything, this can be learnt automatically in about 3 moves by non geeks too.

The washing machine is always in operation with a household of 5 and you can make savings by :
  • selecting the lowest temperature - i.e. 40degrees is sufficient
  • selecting short washing times where possible.
  • soaking heavily soiled items overnight and then washing at low temperatures.
  • Dry clothes on a line in the fresh air.
Dishwashers - opt for a cooler setting and use when absolutely full to the brim. Check the type of cleaner you use. We use ecover.

Any appliance you buy should have an energy label on it and you can check energy saving recommended products on the energy savings trust website.

DVD's, digiboxes, TV's and other items on standby will consume energy and if you can , switch them off when not used. Again there is a device for this if you want a gadget, its called the power saver and switches it off for you with just enough energy to reset it by remote.

For computers, there is handy gadget called the intelliplug which shuts off all printers and other items connected to your computer when you shut it down.

If you have no idea how much each appliance uses, you could use the wireless sensor called the electrisave.

I do not advocate buying any of these products in an effort for you to save energy as I believe that some actions using your digits and brain can achieve similar effects but if you want to use gadgets to perform these tasks then it will cost you. The choice is yours.

Action today is to check any other electrical items plugged in and make a comparison with costs and usage. Choose to unplug those that are non our case the microwave is the favourite item for this action.

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