Environmental Buying Guides
Buying the Right Appliances for the Right Reasons
White goods are a typical and necessary aspect of any home, but neglecting to choose wisely when purchasing these appliances can result in really damaging the environment. While they may have been designed to keep your indoors clean, be careful not to forget about our children's outdoors as well!
Unnecessary purchases are a big factor- don't impulse buy your appliances- ensure they are really necessary and calculate their appropriate size and level of efficiency. Follow the instruction booklet that comes with the machine as a good way to ensure you're not wasting water and energy levels.
A whopping 10% of household power use is drawn from appliances that are off, but whose power outlet is still on. The power outlet continues to suck power to maintain "stand by" power. Make sure this is turned off whenever it is appropriate and you'll see your energy levels starting to drop already.
Ratings are enforced for the convenience of the buyer. Buy products which boast low energy requirement and that save water. Groups such as the Australian Consumers Association are ideal to contact if you want further recommendation and advice. They consistently test products for your purchasing benefit.
The Energy Rating label on refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and air conditioners all have this system enforced to display their efficiency in terms of energy levels. The star rating between 1-6 displayed on the front of the appliance makes it simple to factor in this aspect when purchasing a product.
Choosing & Using Appliances
The nature of fridges - having always to be on, as well as their size, they lend themselves to a guaranteed larger energy usage. Running a 6-Star 360L fridge will produce almost half a tonne less greenhouse gas each year than a three star model! Likewise, drying a load of washing in an electric dryer generates more than 3kg of greenhouse gas! We should all make sure we do our best to reduce these huge emissions into our only environment.
Size is a huge factor concerning energy and water efficiency- so ensure you're buying the appropriate size for your needs. Look for features like adjustable shelving and separate thermostats. Check for chest freezers because they are generally more efficient than upright models, as well as freezers with closed doors. A general rule of thumb is to look for machines with as little exterior exposure as possible (one door fridges or lack of cold water dispensers are more efficient).
Building design is another important consideration. Ensure that your refrigerators and freezers are kept in a cool spot, out of sunlight to maintain minimum energy. Similarly, keep the machines away from other appliances which radiate heat. Stoves and cooktops are such appliances which should not be placed directly next to it. You also want to make sure that those appliances which require hot water should be placed within close proximity to the hot water tap. Use cold water where you can in clothes washers, and save energy washing your dishes at a lower temperature with less detergent. Keep a constant check on the water and energy ratings when purchasing your appliances.
If we all do our part, we have the ability to make huge differences in our energy saving. The global environment has the potential to be hugely affected by our actions. Small changes in the home can make big differences so make sure you buy the right appliances for the right reasons!