An eco-friendly home: How to transform your old appliances

Posted on December 04, 2018 by Andrew

It’s great to see the world becoming more eco-conscious. With people becoming aware of the current environmental issues surrounding plastic use and carbon emissions, everyone has been making more effort to keep our planet safer and cleaner for future generations.

If you’ve been dedicated in your efforts to recycle your plastic and cans and maybe even using the car less in favour of walking or cycling, you’re on the right track – but there are ways that you can make a difference with your household appliances too. Whilst new appliances are typically more eco-friendly than older models, not everyone can afford to replace them, but there are ways that you can transform your old appliances into eco-friendly versions for a more energy efficient home:

Temperature control

It’s recommended that you replace your old boiler after around 15 years, but you can still eco-proof your old boiler with just a few simple tricks. Simply turn the thermostat down a few degrees and turn it off at night. You’ll sleep better if your body can cool down anyway, and a few degrees less during the day won’t make you uncomfortable. Consider popping another layer on next time you reach to turn up the thermostat, as usually, this is enough to warm you up!

Air-conditioning efficiency

During the summer months, it may be a good idea to check your air-conditioning to make sure it’s performing efficiently. A good air-conditioning unit can provide effective relief from an overly-warm home. But, like any other appliance, it needs a little TLC every now and again to keep it working well and prevent any overuse of energy. Greener Ideal recommends getting a professional out to inspect your air-conditioning unit to make sure it is still running efficiently and effectively. If your system is making any strange noises, best to give a professional a call.

There are many ways to ensure that your home or workplace are energy efficient. For example, if you’re looking to replace an old, noisy air conditioning unit, your main focus might be on a quiet model. But don’t neglect to check how eco-friendly it is!

Fixing the fridge

Fridges tend to last a long time – around 15 to 20 years – but if yours is due for a replacement, it’s definitely wise to invest in a more eco-friendly model. But let’s focus on your current fridge. When was the last time you cleaned the coils? According to Architectural Digest, cleaning the coils of your fridge can encourage better energy use.

You can usually find your fridge coils on the bottom, top or back of the appliance. Turn your fridge off before you start, and remove the base grill if the coils are on the top or bottom, or pull your fridge carefully out so you can see the coils at the back. With a refrigerator coil brush, you can brush out any dirt or debris that has gathered on the coils. Take the opportunity to sweep the floor too! Then, pop everything back in place. Be sure to wear gloves, and be careful when moving your fridge — if it’s too heavy, ask for help moving it.

Stop the standby

We have all gone to bed before without remembering to turn the TV off at the wall. Charging our phones overnight when they really don’t need that long. Games consoles left to hum away in the dark. If you’re looking to lower your bills and your carbon footprint, switch them off completely before you go to bed.

According to Energy Saving Trust, the average UK home spends £30 every year just on appliances left on standby. Spending £30 for something you’re not using isn’t good, and worse, it’s not good for the environment. So, when you’re doing your check around the house that all the windows and doors are locked before going to bed, be sure to cast a quick eye to your plugs and devices and switch them off properly before hitting the hay.

Cooling down the wash

It’s easy to make your washing machine more energy efficient by turning down the temperature of your regular wash cycle. Opt to wash your clothes on a cold wash setting for the following benefits beyond saving the planet:

  • Protect elastics
  • Protect colour vibrancy
  • Money saving
  • Better stain removal (warm water actually keeps the stain in!)

Dishwasher duties

It’s important to wait until your dishwasher is as full as possible before turning it on. Also, be sure to have your full load placed efficiently in the dishwasher to fit in as much as possible without compromising on cleaning. Tree Hugger advises that, if your model has the option to, turn off its drying cycle and just let your dishes air dry. You can open the door at the end and leave them overnight to dry off.

Tumble dryer tips

Your next priority should be your tumble dryer. The filters are meant to be cleaned after every use, but everyone has forgotten once or twice…Clear out any lint that has gathered in the filter, then pour a little water on the filter screen to see if the water passes through. If it doesn’t and pools on top of the filter, your filter needs a thorough cleaning. Give it a good scrubbing in soapy, warm water, then rinse it off and try pouring a little water through again. If it still pools a little, repeat your soap-water attack on the filter!

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings

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