You will probably have heard the term ‘energy efficiency’ used frequently as we become more and more aware of the need to protect our home planet and to change our habits for a greener, cleaner future, but how can you become more energy efficient in the way you operate your household?
The term itself simply means using less energy to provide the same level of energy we require to operate something. In other words, using appliances in our home that work better or last longer than previous versions of that appliance (for example, a fridge, cooker or air conditioning unit) and with a lower energy consumption. The term can apply to individual appliances but also for entire buildings; insulating a building maintains its temperature with less heating and cooling energy required.
A common example of energy efficiency within the home is the type of lightbulbs you use. Most homes nowadays have switched to energy efficient LED bulbs that do not waste heat and use less energy than conventional bulbs whilst still creating the same amount of light. This theory applies to any appliance; an energy efficient washing machine will wash your clothes just as well as any other, but will use less energy than previous models, and a fridge will still cool your food effectively, but by using less energy than an older model.
So why should you become more energy efficient? For one, energy consumption is fast increasing worldwide and threatening our environment through the depletion of natural resources, pollution and the destruction of natural habitats. But there is also a financial burden too, and by becoming more energy savvy in your home or business, you can help the planet and also your own pocket by saving money on your energy consumption.
The first thing to do is check your home appliances and where possible replace any older models with new, energy efficient models which will save you money in the long-run.
You can easily assess the energy efficiency of a new appliance as they are now required to carry an energy efficiency label that ranks their energy consumption from A+++ (the best) to D (the poorest). Each type of appliance has been ranked through a number of criteria and testing, but this differs from appliance type to appliance type and as such, you should only compare the labels of same type appliances.
For example, an air conditioner's energy efficiency is measured by the ratio of the cooling capacity (Btu per hour) to the power input (in watts). The energy consumption of washing machines is calculated by the annual kilowatt hours used by the machine on both 40°C and 60°C cotton cycles. For fridges and freezers, it is calculated based on efficiency related to the size of the appliance. Dishwashers are rated by measuring the amount of energy used when tableware is washed on the standard cycle with the rinse and dry cycles tested too.
It stands to reason that the most energy efficient appliances are those that are graded A+++ or A++ and even if their price tag is higher than a lower rating product, the savings you will make on your electricity bills will more than cover the initial purchase cost in comparison to a product that requires more electricity to operate daily.
Plus, you will be doing your bit to help the planet, and that is always a good thing!
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