Since the beginning of the year, due to the lack of electricity, the price of natural gas in Europe has almost quadrupled. Most European countries have offered or plan to offer energy subsidies to households, in order to reduce electricity consumption and thus reduce dependence on this energy source.
The current price of electricity in Serbia is among the lowest in Europe, but even with the relatively low price of electricity, the bills that come to us are often high for our standard. Therefore, it would be good to influence the reduction of electricity consumption in the household as much as we can.
Most of the fixed monthly expenses of one household go to heating and utilities, internet and TV subscriptions, mobile telephony and electricity costs, and most of the electricity bills fall on electrical appliances. This includes the so-called “white goods” – kitchen and other electrical appliances.
Here are some tips on how to reduce the power consumption of home appliances.
# 1 Refrigerators and freezers
Refrigerators and freezers are refrigeration devices without which a modern home cannot be imagined, and they are included and work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is why it is no wonder that the largest percentage of consumed electricity mostly goes to them.
Combined, single-leaf or double-leaf refrigerators as well as horizontal or vertical freezers different capacities, which can and does have an impact on their electricity consumption.
Like all other white goods, refrigeration appliances have an energy efficiency rating, but it is closely related to their size and design. In that way, a smaller refrigerator with a grade of B would consume less energy than a larger one from class A or A +.
However, it may be best to look at how much these devices of different sizes consume on an annual basis. You can usually find this information in the lower right corner of the energy efficiency label. Choose those appliances that will meet the needs of your family and do not buy bigger devices than you need.
In addition to choosing the most energy efficient device, there are other ways to reduce electricity consumption and thus save money.
Do not place the refrigerator or freezer next to the stove or in places that are directly exposed to sunlight throughout the day. Also, it is necessary to separate the device from the walls, which is emphasized in the manufacturer’s instructions, so that the air from the back can circulate freely. Regularly keep the appliance clean and regularly wipe the dust from the back, as the area around the compressor must be dust-free in order to carry out heat exchange smoothly.
Never put hot food in the refrigerator. It will take more time for it to cool down, so it will work harder. To keep the food fresh and the electricity bill lower, set the refrigerator to 3⁰C to 5⁰C (the freezer should be -18⁰C). With freezers that are older and do not have NoFrost technology, too much ice can make them less efficient. So at least once a year defrost and thoroughly clean.
Finally, make sure that the door on the device seals well. If this is not the case, cold air will come out, and your refrigerator will work longer and consume more electricity. Therefore, clean or replace the gasket.
# 2 Stoves and ovens
Microwave ovens can be the most energy efficient when it comes to how to prepare a meal, because they shorten the cooking time. Of course, except in the microwave, you can prepare food in the oven or on the hob.
All electric stoves and ovens have a marked energy class on them, so if we start from that, then we should choose those devices that have the highest rating. For example, an electric stove with A + category can consume 40% less energy when preparing food than that of category B (from March 1, according to the new EU class nomenclature, they are marked with letters from A to G, without + marks).
On the other hand, cooking on the hob is often more efficient than preparing food in the oven. So if you cook more on the stove than you use the oven, then choose induction hobs, because they are the most energy efficient. They create a magnetic field that does not heat the cooking surface but the pan. They cook food faster, but you can’t use any type of cookware on them, only certain ones, which can receive the heat of the electromagnetic field.
How you are adapting the apartment or a house, know that stoves with classic hobs are the cheapest option but also consume the most energy. However, you can save on them as well as on any other device. Cut the food into smaller pieces before cooking, because it will cook faster. Cook the vegetables by pouring just enough water to cover the food you are preparing. Be sure to put a lid on to keep the heat inside the pan and always turn on the hob that matches the size of the pan in which you are cooking.
When it comes to the oven, it is best not to open the door until the dish is completely done. Simply keep the glass clean so you can always make sure the food is baked.
# 3 Washing machines
A family of four in Serbia uses a washing machine an average of three to four times a week. However, if you have a baby or small children in the family, or if you are more numerous, then you certainly use it much more often. This will result in increased consumption of electricity and water, so at the end of the month, the bill for consumed energy will be higher.
However, a new washing machine can help you a lot in reducing electricity and water consumption. There are a number of different models available on the market that will consume significantly less energy than your old washing machine. Just take a look energy class label and opt for the device that is the highest class.
If you still don’t have enough money for a new washing machine or have already bought one, here are some tips on how to spend less energy, save money and be responsible to the planet at the same time.
First of all, never turn on a half-empty machine. Whenever possible, wait until the laundry has accumulated enough for a full machine, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Thus, the device will consume the optimal amount of electricity, but also water.
For less soiled laundry, use a quick wash program. Washing machines of a newer production date wash very well even at lower washing temperatures, so you will not need an additional amount of electricity to heat the water.
Use the machine at night, when electricity is cheaper. In the period from 22:00 to 6:00 in the area of central Serbia and from 23:00 to 7:00 in the area of Vojvodina, electricity is about four times cheaper than in the time outside the above. It is best if you have machines with a timer, because you can charge it and set it to start washing after 22 or 23 hours.
These tips will help you in your intention to reduce your electricity bills, the price of which, according to experts, will only increase in the coming years. In this way, you can use the money you have saved for other purposes, investments, equipping your home with modern technology or for travel.
Source: Portal o ekonomiji by www.economy.rs.
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