Our Guide to Using Appliances Sustainably
As we’ve become more aware of our environmental impact, Kiwi homeowners are beginning to find ways to create a more sustainable home. Whether you’re looking to do your bit for the environment, or your laundry appliance is just too expensive to run, check out our guide to using appliances sustainably.
Look for the Star Rating
Sustainable appliance use starts with mindful purchasing. You’ve probably heard the ads on TV plenty of times, tirelessly repeating to check for an energy rating when you shop at an NZ appliance store, and we’re here to push that message further!
When you’re shopping for appliances, looking at the energy rating sticker is a quick and easy way to see how your model compares against others of its similar size and capacity. The ratings range from 1-6 stars, rising by increments of half a star. By purchasing a 6-star appliance you can be confident that you’ve got one of the most sustainable on the market.
After you’ve made a quick comparison using the star ratings, check the energy consumption label. This label highlights the appliance’s annual energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This sounds a bit technical, but it’s a great tool for working out how much the machine will cost you to run for a year. The energy consumption rating is based on the average expected use over a year, so based on what you pay for electricity, you can work out approximately how much the appliance will cost to run annually.
This chart of the average electricity prices in NZ towns and cities is a fantastic resource to help with figuring out running costs. If you use this resource to track down your average electricity price, you can multiply this by the annual energy consumption shown on the sticker, to work out the estimated annual running cost of the appliance.
Make the Most of Settings
Most modern appliances have some eco-settings to run more efficiently, without compromising performance. These settings generally reduce one or all of three key variables that most appliances have: time, temperature, and water. These variables are the things that increase your power bill, so knowing how to control them is handy.
Out of the three variables, time uses the least amount of energy, so don’t be too alarmed if your eco-settings are longer than the other options—it’s still sustainable. Most appliances—washing machines and dishwashers in particular—consume the bulk of their electricity through heating the water. If you have a light, not too dirty load of laundry, don’t waste all that power to wash it at 50℃, change the temperature settings to cold wash, and you’ll likely save more power than using the eco-setting.
Read the manual, play around with the settings, see what works best for your usage and your power bill.
A Bit of Common Sense
When it comes down to sustainability, a lot of it is about common sense. Buying an appliance that is suited to your habits can make a huge financial difference. If you’re shopping for a new laundry machine and know that you never have time to wait for a full load, look for one with a smaller capacity, more suited to your needs. If you’ve got a small load, below 1kg, that desperately needs a wash, use the appropriate ‘quick wash’ settings to get it done efficiently. Shop for appliances that are an appropriate size and with the appropriate settings to suit your needs.
And if you’re not using it? Switch it off. Appliances on standby still consume a small amount of electricity, and it may not seem like much, but you’re still consuming and paying for power that you’re not using. Using timers for compatible appliances, heaters in the winter, for example, is a great way to manage your power-use efficiently without thinking about it. Making purchasing decisions based on how you interact with your appliances and using the settings relevant to what you need to be done can go a long way.
Make Sustainable Simple with Midea
Midea has been using innovative design and technology to enrich the lives of our customers for more than 50 years. Whether you’re after an affordable dryer to run through the winter, or just on the hunt for some new kitchen appliances in NZ, Midea has everything you need to make it simple. To get started on building a family of sustainable appliances, browse the collection online today.