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Tips to save energy
Equipment in dwellings

 In the home   Equipment in dwellings   Household rubbish   Transport   Office  

This section contains some useful tips to save energy in on a daily basis. Putting them into practice does not require much effort, and it is worthwhile being environmentally efficient and friendly.

Lighting

Use the best invention to save money: the switch, and make the best use of natural light.

With light colours on walls and ceilings, you make better use of natural light and reduce the use of artificial light.

Replace incandescent and halogen lamps with low-consumption LEDs. They last longer and consume 90% less.

Look at the energy label on lamps and choose ‘Class A’ lights.

Remember to switch off lights when you leave a room.

Keep lamps and shades clean; dirt reduces light levels.

It is advisable to avoid lamps with a lot of bulbs (e.g. chandeliers).

Refrigerator

Buy appliances with an A+++ energy label: they will save you a lot of energy and money.

Do not buy a refrigerator bigger than one you need.

Place the fridge or the freezer in a cool, well-ventilated place away from possible heat sources: cooker, oven, sunlight, etc.

Adjust the thermostat on the fridge and freezer, following the manufacturer's instructions. For example, 6-8ºC in the fridge and between -12 and -18ºC in the freezer.
To avoid unnecessary energy costs, only open the fridge/freezer door when needed, and for the shortest possible time.
Check that the rubber seals around the refrigerator doors are in good condition and ensure that the door closes well.

De-frost the freezer before the layer of ice reaches a thickness of 4/5 mm. You will obtain savings of up to 30%.

Never put hot food in the fridge, you will save energy by allowing it to cool outside.

When you take food out of the freezer to consume it the next day, defrost it in the fridge compartment rather than outside. That way, you will get an extra source of cold free of charge.
Clean the rear grille of the fridge at least once a year.

Washing machine

Buy washing machines with an A+++ energy label. They save a lot of energy and money.
Makes the best use of the washing machine's capacity, at full load.

Wherever possible, wash with cold water.

Half-load programs reduce consumption considerably.

Spin mode consumes less energy to dry clothes than a tumble drier.

Clean the filter of the washing machine regularly; it will work better and save energy.

Dishwasher

Buy a dishwasher with an A+++ energy label, to save energy and money.

Choose the dishwasher size according to your needs.

Try and fill the dishwasher before using it. For half-loads, use short or ‘economy’ programs.

If you need to rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, use cold water.

Whenever you can, use economy or low-temperature programs.

Clean the dishwasher filter regularly, it will work better and save energy.

Tumble drier

If you need a tumble drier, buy one of ‘Class A’ or higher.

Preferably, use the spin cycle on the washing machine instead of a tumble drier.

Use the capacity of the tumble drier to the maximum and always fill it to the top.

AWhen using a tumble drier, spin clothes in the washing machine first.

Do not mix cotton and heavy clothes in the same load when drying light clothes.

Clean the tumble drier filter on a regular basis, and inspect the ventilation hole to ensure that it is not blocked.

Use the humidity sensor of the tumble drier to avoid excessive drying of clothes.

Cooker

Induction hotplates save up to 45% of energy in comparison with vitro-ceramic hobs because they heat the pot or frying pan directly instead of heating the glass.

Gas cookers: ensure that the base of the pots is slightly higher than the cooking zone to keep the flame under them.

Electric cookers: use pots/frying pans with a thick base to ensure a more balanced temperature distribution.

Whenever you can, use super-fast pressure cookers (they lose very little steam during cooking). They consume less energy and save a lot of time.

Cover pots during cooking, to consume less energy.

Switch off electric cookers (except induction) about 5 minutes before finishing cooking, to take advantage of the residual heat.

Oven

Electric ovens have an energy label that indicates their level of efficiency.

If you are going to buy an electric oven, ensure that it is Class A or above.

Do not open the oven unnecessarily. Every time you do this you will lose at least 20% of the energy accumulated inside.

Try and make the best use of the oven's capacity and, if possible, cook as many different foods as you can at the same time.

It is not usually necessary to preheat the oven if you are going to cook for over 1 hour.

Switch off the oven just before finishing cooking. The residual heat will be sufficient to complete the process.

Convection (fan) ovens help the even distribution of heat, save time and consume less energy.

Microwave

Using a microwave instead of an oven means an energy and time saving of over 60%.

Other equipment

When you are not watching TV, it is advisable to switch it off completely by pressing the ON/OFF switch, to save up to 15% of energy.

You can connect some equipment (TV, music system, DVD…) to power strips (multiple plugs with a switch). When you switch off the power strip all the devices go off and save a considerable amount of energy.

If you are not going to use your computer for short periods, it is advisable to set the screen to switch off automatically. You will save energy, and when switching on again you not have to wait for the computer to reboot. The screen is the item that consumes most energy.

Switch the computer off completely for long absences (more than 30 minutes).

Air conditioning

Buy devices with a Class A energy label; they are more efficient, and get advice from specialists.

Set the room cooling temperature at 25ºC. A temperature difference of more than 12ºC with the outside is not healthy.

To stop a dwelling getting too hot inside, install canopies and close sun blinds and curtains.

In summer, air the house when the outside air is cooler (early morning or at night).

A fan may be sufficient to keep a pleasant temperature. The movement of the air produces a sensation of lower temperature (between 3 and 5ºC) and fans consume very little energy.

All air conditioning equipment should be protected from the sun and there needs to be good air circulation around it. If the condenser units are on a roof, cover them to ensure that they are in the shade.

Light colours on roofs and exterior walls reflect the sun and stop interiors heating up.

Adhesive strips can be stuck on the outside of windows to reduce the flow of heat to the interior of the dwelling.