As we try to keep our bills down going into winter, its good to know which home appliances are burning through the most and the least amount of energy. Phil Smyth, Physicist and Engineer with UCD Discovery and Simply Science, joined Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 to tell us more.
Phil told Claire that the he EU has introduced a new system for labelling appliances to display their energy efficiency. Instead of the slightly confusing labels of A, A+. A++ and A+++, there will now be an A-G system:
"The ratings are intrinsically the same but they've changed the scale to be a little bit more easy to understand."
Each appliance has a different rule when it comes to getting the most out of it so the best way to get your moneys worth it to always read the manual.
When it comes to washing machines, Phil says that rather than packing your machine to the brim, you should be sure to leave some breathing room.
"Two medium loads will actually be more efficient than overloading it," he explains.
Ultimately though, the cost of using a machine will come down to temperature.
"Any appliance that you are using that heats, and heats water in particular, is going to use more energy. A lot of things that you have will have an eco-mode which will heat more steadily over time. Sometimes eco-modes, though, on different things can use a little bit more of electricity particularly if you have that overloaded setting."
If you hate washing the dishes you will be delighted to know that dishwashers are actually more efficient than you when it comes to cleaning up.
"A full dishwasher uses about half the energy that we would actually use in heating the water and will use several litres of water less as well. Eco as well. Its the temperature that you're using, about 80% of the energy in the dishwasher being used is to heat the water so if you have a slightly lower temperature setting, you're going to be saving a bigger amount of the energy that you're using."
Claire tells Phil that the tumble drier has become enemy number one in her household as it uses up such an incredible amount of energy. The best way to avoid using the drier, says Phil, is good old fashion fresh air.
However, if the weather isn't on your side or you live in an apartment with no outdoor drying options, you may want to check out some handy tech like a heated clothes horses or a dehumidifier.
"The problem with drying clothes inside in a house is: where does the moisture go? You want to look after that in terms of mold and other things in the house. Dehumidifiers will take the moisture away a good bit but the clothes horse is a big benefit because you're spreading things out."
If you don't have a dehumidifier to hand be sure to introduce some air circulation into your home while clothes dry: "If you have a clothes horse and the window is open, that air is flowing around to air things out."
The fridge is an appliance that remains on 24/7 but also lasts for years. If you're in the market for a fridge, be sure to invest in a decent one.
"A C-rated fridge uses about 150 kilowatt hours per annum, that's about €43. An F-rated fridge would actually use about €115 per annum. That's quite a difference over the course of a year."
Another thing to keep in mind is where you place appliances and how you mind them. First and foremost, don't have your fridge sitting next to your oven. From there, be sure to read the manual to learn how to look after it, never put hot food inside it, and be sure to defrost your appliance every six months or so.
When it comes to cooking the food in your fridge, Phil suggests investing in an air-fryer:
"Airfryers - you don't need to pre-heat, they don't use oil like the deep-fat fryer, it cooks quicker and uses less energy so therefore you don't use as much energy and it doesn't cost you as much."
For more top tips, be sure to listen back to Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 above.