Most maintenance on appliances is simple and won't cost anything. And your appliances will last longer.
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The refrigerator is the second biggest single energy consumer in the home after water heating. Frost-free models are generally less efficient than manual defrost. Consider replacing pre-2000 fridge-freezers with newer more energy efficient models available since 2005.
Energy efficient dishwashers heat their own water and do not require plumbing into the hot water supply. Each time you use a dishwasher you may be using up to 40 litres of water if it is a pre-1995 model. More efficient recent models use 14-20 litres per wash.
Clean the filter regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Dry the filter out before you do this.
Dehumidifiers cost a lot to run and removing the moisture doesn’t remove the cause. See Moisture in the home for ways to reduce the moisture in your home to reduce the need for a dehumidifier.
Unflued gas and kerosene heaters produce up to one litre of water vapour an hour during use. They also produce gases which can be harmful if allowed to build up. Avoid using this type of heater if you can, especially if your home tends to be damp. And never use them in small or unventilated rooms.
If you are replacing an appliance, check out the "Energy Rating" sticker of the models you are considering. The star rating gives an assessment of the model's energy efficiency, so you can compare it to other appliances. Each extra star saves you an extra 10% or so of running costs.
Some appliances have more than one ‘band’ of stars. Air conditioners have blue for cooling and red for heating performance, washing machines and dishwashers have red for warm washes and blue for cold washes.
The energy efficiency rating – the white number in the red box –gives an estimate of the annual energy consumption of the appliance. The lower the number, the less the model costs you in power bills and the more it helps the environment.
Water ratings are found on washing machines and dishwashers.
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