Learn about appliances that use energy at home and school

10 Learning KS1, KS2

In the Home
Here is some information about the biggest energy guzzling appliances in the home:
Fridge-freezers often account for 5% of a household’s annual energy bill. There are several easy things you can do to make sure they’re running at full efficiency:
  • Defrosting regularly can save £100 per year. Do so at least once a year, or when there is more than 1cm of frost covering a large area of the surface.
  • Make sure to keep it at 5°C or below.
  • Make sure all seals and drawers close properly.
  • Keep it stocked up – fridges work best when three quarters full. But it doesn’t work well when overfilled!
  • Don’t store stuff on top and keep it away from the wall to allow air to circulate around it.
  • Hoover dust from condenser coils at the back or underneath the fridge.
Electric heaters
A lot of people think it’s cheaper to use an electric heater to heat a room instead of central heating. However, it’s estimated that having one on for two hours a day could cost £200 over a year. It may actually save you money to keep your house at a reasonable constant temperature using central heating and then just put an extra jumper on if you need it! If you’re wasting heat through your walls and roof, you should look at insulating.

Tumble dryer
We all know tumble dryers can be costly, and that we should use a clothes horse or washing line where possible. But let’s face it, there will always be occasions when it’s the easiest option. Here are a few tips:
  • Picking a dryer with a good energy rating is key here – it could make all the difference to your bills. An inefficient C-rated dyer is estimated to cost a huge 49p per load, while an A-rated model should cost around 14p per load. The investment in replacing old/inefficient appliances could pay off in the long run by lowering your bills.
  • If you have to use it, make sure to clean the lint filter each time to help air circulate and stop it overheating, which will help it run more efficiently.
Washing machine
One of the most used appliances in the home, your washing machine can add a lot to your energy bill. Making small changes like changing the temperature you wash at could make a big difference. A 40°C wash uses a third less than a 60°C cycle!
Try to stick to medium heats and only use a hot wash if really necessary – most clothes will wash perfectly at a lower temperature.

As a general rule, the bigger the screen, the more energy it will use. It’s also worth bearing in mind that LCD screens are much cheaper to run than plasma screens.

A final word…
Don’t keep things on standby! Appliances can use loads of energy even when not in use. Unplugging TVs, set boxes and wifi boxes overnight could save you money.

How can I choose more energy efficient appliances?
Most of the appliances we use today are vital for everyday living – whether they’re for cleaning our clothes or for keeping our food fresh. Whilst you won’t be able to make do without them, you can still save valuable money on your energy bill by selecting energy efficient models. Most common kitchen appliances have an energy efficiency rating, with A++ being the most efficient, and G the least efficient.
Whilst a newer A++ rated fridge freezer costs about £40 per year to run, an older G-rated model could cost more than £400.

At School
Use The Pods Energy Savings Schools Audit or create your  own record sheet to investigate the appliances using electricity around the school. 
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