women putting food in her fridge

Five energy mistakes that could be costing us money

We’re all watching our energy use this winter. But there are energy mistakes that could be costing us dear

We’re all trying to keep our energy costs under control this winter. With prices rising so much it might feel like there’s nothing more we can turn off or turn down.

But we could be making some of these common mistakes, which all cost us money.

Here’s a list of some energy errors – and how to fix them.

  1. Having a fridge that’s jam packed OR under-filled. We should aim for a fridge that’s about three-quarters full. If it’s too full the fridge has to work harder to get cool air into all the corners. But fridges also work better when there’s a good amount of stuff in there. If we tend not to have much in our fridge, just keeping some bottles of water in there will do the trick. Defrosting frozen food in the fridge rather than out in the kitchen can also cut energy use by acting as an ice pack and helping the fridge stay cool. The food will just take a bit longer to defrost.
  2. Not defrosting our freezer. Lots of ice build-up stops the freezer working efficiently. So clear it of ice as often as needed.
  3. Hanging clothes on radiators to dry. It might feel like we’ll dry our laundry much quicker this way, but we’ll pay for it. Doing this will only make our boiler work harder to keep our home to temperature.
  4. Letting limescale build up on our kettle. If we don’t keep the kettle clear we’re using more energy to boil the same amount of water. And with all the hot drinks we’ll be having over the colder months this can quickly add up!
  5. Washing clothes at 40 degrees. Of course, sometimes a cooler wash isn’t going to cut it. But if we use a 40-degree cycle as our default we’re pouring money down the drain. Lightly soiled clothes come out just fine at 30 degrees (or even lower if we have a 20-degree setting). And a 30-degree wash can save 38 per cent on energy costs compared with a 40-degree cycle. Washing at 20 degrees uses 62 per cent less energy than a 40-degree wash. When we want to kill bacteria though, for example if we’re washing sheets or towels, a 60-degree wash is still best. Just a lot more expensive!

There are lots more tips on energy savings on the Quids in! website.

Image: Kevin Malik / Pexels

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