Our appliances and the way we use them play a determining role, not only in reducing our impact on the environment, but also in reducing our bills. The washing machine and the dishwasher are two of the most used appliances in a home and represent almost 10% of the energy bills of the same.
How does the new electricity bill affect me if I am in the free market?
Seven steps to saving with the washing machine
The factors that influence the energy consumption of a washing machine, beyond the frequency with which we usually use it, are several. Some of the ones that can help us save the most at the end of the month are:
- Use cold water, whenever possible and when the clothes are not very dirty. Most of the energy in a washing machine is used to heat the water (it is estimated that 80-85%). There is already greater awareness of the advantages of washing at 30ºC and some models of washing machines have incorporated, since 2013, the option of 20ºC.
- Doing Full Loads – Waiting for a full washer is better than half full because while a smaller load may use less water, it will use the same amount of energy. If, on the other hand, we fill it too much, the clothes will come out wrinkled and will not be cleaned well. Therefore, it is important that we have a washing machine that meets our needs (there are several kilos, the more kilos, the more capacity).
- Use suitable cycles: if our washing machine has an option that says “quick wash” or “ecological cycle” it is advisable to use them, because these washes are designed for energy efficiency, not only for the speed of the cycle. Give preference to ecological programs, which, although longer, are cheaper (3-54% savings).
- Reduce the number of washers per week: if we look at all the washers that we put in, we may realize that some of these washes are not necessary or can be simplified with fewer loads.
- Maintain Properly: The filter can build up limescale, which makes the washing machine use more energy to function properly. Cleaning it periodically will help us to optimize the operation, because the lime that accumulates hinders the evacuation of the water and forces the engine. Another way to ensure good performance is to do a hot monthly wash, without clothes, with a product designed to clean and disinfect.
- Buying an energy efficient washing machine: When buying the washing machine, we must pay attention to the energy efficiency ratings. Since last March, the new energy labeling European present in dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators and screens distributes household appliances from A to G (A is the most efficient). So substitute the scale A +++, A ++, A +, A, B, etc. and no more signs are added to class A.
Consume less energy with the dishwasher
If not used properly, the dishwasher is another of the most energy-consuming appliances in the entire home. Good maintenance is essential: cleaning it and being attentive to the first signs of problems avoids spending more on the bill and having to replace it early.
- Fill it before use: the dishwasher uses the same amount of water if it is half full as if it is full. Running the dishwasher at the end of the day, once a day, will consume less water and energy than washing dishes by hand all day. If we do not achieve a load per day, it is advisable to use the rinse function to avoid the accumulation of dry food and, at the same time, save time and water. We must load the dishes according to the manufacturer’s instructions, completely fill the racks to optimize water and energy use and allow water circulation.
- Adapt the wash to the need: we must take a good look at what we are washing (dishes, glasses, paella pans, etc.) to put the right wash.
- Keeping the dishwasher clean: cleaning the filters is important so that the appliance does not spend more than normal.
- Use the eco option: many modern dishwashers already have an eco mode program, which limits the temperature and amount of water used to wash dishes. ECO programs can also represent savings of more than 40% in 65ºC programs. If, in addition, we have the air drying function without heat, it is better to use it; If we don’t have it because the model is old, we can turn off the dishwasher after the final rinse and open the door to allow it to air dry.
According to a studyPutting the dishwasher in the dishwasher saves about 30 liters a day and saves an average of 87 liters compared to washing by hand each time the dishes are washed. And we not only save on water, but also on electricity: by using this appliance and being more efficient in its washing cycles, we save 1.06 kWh per day in energy.
In all cases, both for the washing machine and for the dishwasher, we must prioritize their use, whenever possible, in the hours when energy costs less, which are usually on weekends and at night.
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