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Alone, the so-called ‘passive cooking’ of pasta saves up to 47% of energy and CO2 emissions. Simple, easily implementable changes such as cooking with a lid on, can save up to 25% of energy. On top of this, using the dishwasher consumes 10 times less than washing tableware by hand.

“Taking a similar approach to the savings offered by all their essential appliances can bring about tangible benefits to householders,” explained Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA Director General, emphasising the importance of making better use of our appliances, as one of the possible effective means to tackle the impending energy crisis across Europe.

By and large, consumers tend to ignore the potential of using the ECO setting on their washing machines and dishwashers. While the average duration of the ECO programme takes about 39 minutes longer than any other setting, it is capable of substantially reducing energy and water consumption. “Heating up the water is what takes the most energy,” highlighted Falcioni.
A longer wash means the water doesn’t have to be quite so hot and not as much. “Sustainable technologies are already in-built in most of the products distributed across EU homes,” he continued, emphasising the role of the campaign in informing consumers about the cost-saving potential they could unlock by making the most of what is already available in our homes.

Today’s fridges and washing machines can do a great job using respectively ¼ of the energy and ⅓ of the water needed 20 years back. Digital technologies can provide medium and long-term energy efficiency solutions for households to save electricity and cut costs, amid the impending crisis. In spite of this, more than 188 million home appliances across Europe are over 10 years old. “For consumers, a replacement can seem complex, time-consuming and expensive which is why government action is needed to support investments in energy efficiency and map out the steps to come,” stated Falcioni. This, alongside behaviour change, as detailed in the advice provided by our #killURbill campaign can go a long way to stimulate the market and result in an uptick in recovery, by guiding people and businesses on how to save energy, quickly.

Finding ways to encourage energy users to change their behaviour is surely not an easy task. “APPLiA’s kill your bill campaign wants to show that simple actions can often be effective,” pointed out Falcioni. The current crisis presents a unique moment. High prices are focusing minds on the importance of efficiency, with its potential to deliver immediate results by lowering demand, while also putting Europe on the journey towards longer-term gains.

This couples with the need to re-acknowledge the power of behaviour. With a pressing need and with guidance from governments and businesses, “we can achieve measurable results in energy demand,” concluded Falcioni.

APPLiA – Home Appliance Europe kicked off its energy-saving campaign, gathering the intelligence of global leading home appliances manufacturing companies, to encourage small, effective changes to the way consumers use their home appliances.

Energy-saving tips:

Check and change the air filter

You should check the air filters on a regular basis to maintain a fresh flow of air being exerted in your home.

This not only keeps your air conditioner’s efficiency in check but also keeps your electricity bills low.

Avoid Steep Temperature Changes

For increased air conditioner efficiency, you should maintain a consistent temperature and avoid making drastic temperature changes.

Blasting your cooling on full power over summer or the heating mode during winter can be very effective in achieving the desired temperature but not very efficient due to higher energy costs.

Make Sure Your Aircon Is the Right Size

An air conditioner that is too small or too big for your room space will be very ineffective.

It is essential to purchase the correct size AC unit for your space as one too small will need to run for longer and at full power. An air conditioner too large will use more energy than needed and result in higher bills.

Regularly remove dust from radiators

Radiators may not receive as much attention during your routine weekly clean that other parts of the home warrant.

Keeping your radiator in good condition, both inside and out will maximise the heat output of your system, driving increased levels of energy efficiency.

Close shutters and curtains at night in all rooms

Shutters keep heat from escaping out through the windows which, along with the roof of a house, is where heat escapes the most.

Fully closed shutters or curtains form a secondary barrier between the room and the window they are fitted to, which provides insulation at night.

Do not place furniture or objects in front of radiators

You should never place furniture directly in front of a radiator.

Obstruction to a radiator prevents heat from being distributed freely throughout the room, and could damage your fornituure over time from the close exposure to heat.

When you are away, lower the set temperature

Leaving your home for a break away? Then why leave your heating on full while no one is home?

Turning your thermostat down will enable your system to operate at an economical level, maintaining your home’s warmth yet not using too much energy.

Adjust the temperature of the radiators according to occupancy and use

Find yourself using that spare room more than your sitting room now that you’re working from home more often?

To save energy, you can adjust the temperature of the radiators in each room based on how often the room is occupied.

If there are rooms in your home you don't use regularly, you could turn the radiator off and close the door.

Use hangers to air dry your clothes

If you do not have a tumble dryer with a specific pre-ironing programme, hang your clothes while wet and air dry them. This will definitely lessen the creases, making the ironing process much easier.

In addition to that, make sure to fold your clothes once dry instead of throwing them in the basket to avoid additional creases.

Organise your ironing

Make sure to set one day a week for ironing. Sort all the clothes into fabric types and start ironing the pile that requires the lowest temperature (the synthetics), proceeding gradually until you get to the hardest ironing fabrics (the linens). This will not only save you time and effort but will also help in reducing electrical energy consumption.

Not all pans are the same

Ensure you use pans that are made of heat conducting materials.

Steel or enamelled cast-iron pans and pots, for instance, will heat up more quickly and consume less energy than glass and ceramic cookware.

Cut your food in small pieces

Cutting food into smaller pieces before cooking could save you energy as it may cook more quickly.

Centre the cookware on the hob

Select the cooking zone to match the size of your pan.

No need for a big stove, if you are using a small pancake pan!

Cover saucepans with suitable lids

Cooking with a lid on, saves up to 25 % energy!

Make sure to always use the right lid size, to optimise energy use and maximise cooking results.

Lift lids as infrequently as possible

When you lift the lid, a lot of energy escapes. Glass lidded pans help you supervise without having to lift the lid.

Use cookware that is suitable for the quantity of food

Large items of cookware containing little food need more energy to heat up.

Choose a small pan to make your french toast on Saturday and leave the bigger pan to your grandma, for the big Sunday lunch!

Cook with little water

The more water that is contained in the cookware, the more energy is required to heat it up.

Using only the needed amount can save you up 20% energy. Did anyone say pasta?

Switch off radiant hotplate 5-10 minutes before the end of cooking

When it comes to pasta, there is a whole world to explore and everyone thinks they have the best recipe ‘to get it right’.

While we leave it to you to decide on the most tasty carbonara out there, here is a small trick for you to keep enjoying your meal while optimising your energy use.

If using a hotplate, after putting the pasta in the boiling water, cover the pot with a lid and reduce the power. Then, turn it off a bit earlier than the recommended pasta cooking time. The residual heat will complete the cooking process allowing you to save energy.

Do not remove the lid throughout this process or the pot will lose heat too quickly and it won’t turn out right. Strain as usual and enjoy.

Please note that the residual heat can also be used in several other recipes and not only for cooking pasta!

Adjust the power level to the needs of the particular cooking process / recipe

You do not need to overheat your meal, or have a hard boiling for cooking your pasta or rice – gentle boiling is enough.

Many times we use power levels which are actually higher than the power we need for the recipe, so we are wasting energy.

Use your range hood at lower speeds

What’s better than the smell of a freshly baked cake filling your home with aromas or of a juicy dinner welcoming your guests to your place? Nothing, we agree. But cooking also produces smoke and moisture. And this is where range hoods come into play!

If you love cooking, you will surely be a big time fan of range hoods. They do a wonderful job eliminating odours and providing your kitchen with the needed ventilation. To maximise energy efficiency, preference using the lower speeds and keep filters cleaned, for peak performance.

This will save you some money on electricity and also prolong the life of your hood.

Don’t leave the fridge door open

It’s 4PM and you are looking for a snack that will get you to dinner. Searching the fridge can take some time, but how much energy are you using while keeping that door open?

When leaving the door fridge open, the internal temperature will warm up affecting the quality of the food stored inside and requiring an extra energy pump to cool back down to its ideal temperature, after closing. The compressor needs to work harder to keep the refrigerator cool, meaning a higher electricity bill.

Try keeping your fridge fully stocked

When opening the door of an empty refrigerator, the cold air will flow out to be replaced with room temperature air, flowing in. In a full refrigerator instead, items will better store the cold, and only the air surrounding them will be lost.

Once the doors are closed, the refrigerator has to cool the new, warmer air down to the set temperature. It will take more energy to cool the greater amount of air in the empty refrigerator than it will to cool the air in the full refrigerator.

Avoid putting hot food in the fridge

Cooking a bigger meal and making multiple portions to quickly grab later in the week truly is a time-saving trick. When making a large amount of hot soup, for instance, timely storing it in the fridge is a common practice to avoid the creation of potentially harmful bacteria. Yet, putting hot or even warm food in the fridge raises a number of concerns.

When introducing a hot portion of freshly boiled soup to your fridge, this will bring up the overall temperature inside, affecting other items. This means your fridge will need to work much harder to cool down, using more energy.

Also, clashing temperatures might risk creating condensation which could risk freezing any item in your fridge touching the walls, or even creating some moisture.

With this being said, remember to wait until your food has reached ambient temperature to store it in the fridge.

Take good care of your fridge and freezer

Unless you have a no-frost fridge and freezer, it is important to defrost them from time to time. It’s a no ice sculpture zone!

Defrosting your fridge and freezer will not only make it much easier to open drawers and get food out, but it will also make sure your appliances are operating as efficiently as possible, saving you a bit on your electricity bill.

Temperature is key

After buying your selection of fresh meat and veggies at the market, you want to make sure to conserve them the right way for that barbecue you planned on Saturday or the soup you will bring to work, on Wednesday. Setting the right fridge and freezer temperature is key here.

Meat and fish, for instance, are in danger of spoiling if stored at a higher temperature, while fruits and vegs may freeze and become inedible if the temperature drops too low.

For proper food storage, there is no need to set the refrigerator colder than +4°C in the fresh food compartment and -18°C in the freezer compartment. Temperature will be just right to preserve your groceries!

Ensure good ventilation

Without the correct amount of ventilation, a cooling appliance cannot run or cool inside properly. Poor ventilation will impair the performance and efficiency of your appliance and may result in higher energy consumption.

When installing your new fridge, make sure to place it in a way to allow correct air flow, not obstructing ventilation openings or grilles.

No fridge sunbathing

Energy consumption depends on a number of different factors, including installation conditions and ambient temperature.

A warm ambient temperature can increase energy use. The temperature difference between the compartment and the room lets the heat into the appliance while also affecting the condensing temperature, this way reducing overall refrigeration system efficiency.

Soooo, do not install the appliance in direct sunlight or next to a stove, heater or similar heat source.

Do not rinse tableware before placing it in the dishwasher

When pre-washing or rinsing dirty dishes by hand, we are consuming unnecessary extra water and energy. To make the most of the washing cycle, scrape off leftover food from utensils and throw it in the bin before placing them in the dishwasher. And yes, you will still get them shiny and clean!

…if you are still not yet fully convinced and can’t resist rinsing your tableware, here is grandma's advice just right for you. Use the boiling water of your pasta to rinse them, before placing them in the dishwasher.

Preference the dishwasher over washing by hand

Your grandma might not want to hear this, and we agree you should never contradict grandmas. But this time, we promise, you’ll want to make an exception!

According to a study conducted by the APPLiA membership, using a dishwasher consumes 10 times less water than washing tableware by hand. It is good for the environment and for your wallet!

Only run the dishwasher on full loads

There is nothing easier than dumping your coffee mug, plates, dishes and pots in the dishwasher, before getting to work and let it do the job.

If you are wanting to get the most out of your dishwasher, wait until you have a full load before you turn it on. This will help you save water, energy and detergent.

Your plates can stay in one more day, we won’t tell anyone!

Take good care of your dishwasher

As we said for the washing machines, dishwashers also want to be shown some love.

It is important that you clean the filter as often as indicated in the user manual. If the filter is not clean, you will have a less well performant result on your dishes.

We also recommend running the cleaning cycle as indicated in the user manual, and follow the indication displayed on the control panel.

Only boil as much water as you need

A simple and easy way to prevent overboiling of water for your kettles, it’s to boil just the right amount of water you intend to use.

So, if in a cold winter evening you wish to prepare a cup of tea, just fill a cup with water and pour it into the kettle. This way, you will only boil the correct amount of water, using only the energy you need.

Bake first, the delicacy requiring a higher temperature

It’s Saturday night and your friends are coming over to your place for dinner. The beef stew is ready to cook in the oven at 200°C while your apple pie needs a quicker journey at 170°C. Let the beef stew go first!

The oven will be already well heated for your pie, reducing its baking time, this way consuming less energy.

Keep the oven closed while cooking

We know it’s hard to resist the temptation of checking your pie as it cooks in the oven. The smell is already invading the room and you truly cannot wait to have a slice. Yet, there is something you should know.

Each time you open the door, the oven loses heat and requires more energy to get back up to temperature.

Defrost frozen food in the fridge

We know it could be tempting to throw something from the freezer straight in the oven. Those fish burgers you are really craving or that dessert, for your dearest Netflix show. Yet, this will double cooking time, requiring more energy.

Remember to defrost your food overnight. This will halve the cooking time, reducing energy consumption in both the fridge and the oven, while cutting costs.

Make preheating an exception, not a rule

Only preheat the oven if this is specified in the recipe or in the operating instruction tables.

Also, learn how long your oven takes to preheat, so you’re ready to start cooking as soon as it’s up to temperature.

Use the fan-assist cooking option

Should your oven allow, preference using the fan-assist cooking option. This allows to set the oven at a lower temperature, compared to the static cooking option.

Switch off the oven 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time

For longer cooking cycles, you can switch off the oven 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time and use the residual heat to finish cooking.

Always use the right temperature setting

After a long day of work or session at the gym, you just want to get your head straight on the plate. You may be tempted to run your oven at maximum temperature, hoping your meal will be ready ASAP.

What you should know is that higher temperature settings cause higher energy losses, and risk overcooking your food. Make sure to always follow the temperature indications as recommended in the recipe, to save energy and enjoy a perfectly cooked dish.

Turn off the tap

Simple choices can help reduce our environmental footprint. How many times do you leave the tap running while brushing your teeth? No need to hide, it happens to each and every one of us, at least once … a week.

Yet, you will want to keep it in mind the next time. Turning off the tap can save up to 30 litres of water a day!

Make the most of your drying time

The energy use of a hair dryer first depends on the model.

Unheated air can use as few as 70 watts of power, while a hairdryer on high heat will use around 1500 watts.

To optimise electricity consumption, try using a higher power, this way reducing drying times, or focusing on a lower power.

Don’t overload or underload the drum

Just as in the case of the washing machine, putting the right amount of laundry in your tumble dryer is key to getting the best results.

Overloading it above rated capacity would risk hindering drying performance or even damage the machine. Underloading it instead, would use the full power of a full programme, just to dry a few items.

For more precise indications, always refer to the manual of your appliance.

Choose programme with care

Select the program that most accurately fits the load you're drying to avoid overly dry clothes or a damp pile that needs to go round again.

Wash your laundry at lower temperatures

Washing your laundry at lower temperatures saves energy. Use the energy saving programmes available on your machine.

Even though these programmes run for a longer time, they actually use less energy and water.

Only run a full laundry load

If you are a long-time fan of small laundry loads, your perspective is about to drastically change.

Although water and energy consumption are adapted to the load size, your washing machine will operate most efficiently when fully loaded.

Preference the ECO programme of your washing machine

Wash modes are a mix of temperature, time and water.

The ECO mode requires less water and a lower temperature than most settings. Usually though, it takes longer to get the same level of cleaning.

That’s because heating up the water consumes the most energy.

A longer wash means the water doesn’t have to be quite so hot. So, you’re still saving energy, even if you’re not saving time. And you will not be disappointed by the wash results.

Do your laundry in off-peak hours

No need to set that alarm while the sun rises, the golden rule is to avoid peak hours to do your laundry. Yet, these can vary a lot across countries and depending on the season.

On average, winter peak hours are estimated to be early in the morning, between 7 and 9AM, when people turn on the heat to warm up their homes and in the afternoon, between 4 and 8PM, when getting home from work.

For more information related to your area, you can reach out to your energy provider to discover the most convenient times to run your laundry.

Take good care of your washing machine

Just like every other appliance helping us with our daily tasks, washing machines also need to be shown some love!

Maintaining your washing machine will help to fulfil a longer and healthier lifespan. So, you will want to make sure to note this down.

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