With household bills going up, we know its extra important to protect your pennies. But have you ever wondered if switching off a plug socket actually saves you energy? Or if that quick wash setting is the cheapest way to do laundry? You’re in the right place – we’ll expose some myths and give you handy tips to save time and money.
Myth: If you’re not using the device, it won’t use power even if it’s plugged in.
Unplugging your phone and keeping the charger in the socket? Leaving your TV on stand-by when you head to bed? We’ve all been there, and it may seem small, but these things can add to your bills. It’s called ‘vampire power’ - appliances and devices suck up small amounts of energy when they’re not being used but are still plugged in. Yikes. Thankfully there’s an extra easy fix – just switch off that socket and your in-house Dracula is gone.
Myth: Switching lights off for a few seconds at a time doesn’t make a difference.
Remember being told as a kid to turn off the lights when you left a room? It might seem obvious, but it’s good to keep in mind. Even if you’re coming back soon, those few moments of them being switched off will save energy, and it all adds up! Plus, it’s handy to keep an eye on how many are turned on versus how many you actually need. No more lighting up your home like a Christmas tree, when all you need is a reading lamp.
Myth: LED lights are more expensive than traditional bulbs.
It’s true that LED lights are more expensive than the traditional options, so we understand that this puts people off. But – and it’s a big but – they last for anywhere between 5 and 20 years. That means you’ll be saving lots of money in the long run, just imagine how many bulbs you’d have to buy in 2 decades.
Myth: Washing dishes by hand saves more water than a dishwasher.
No one enjoys scrubbing at pots and pans over the sink, but are we hurting the planet and our bank balance when we use dishwashers? Nope! Brands kit out their products with nifty tech that not only helps the environment but protects your pocket too. Most machines come with an eco-programme – these use less water, and less energy to heat that water, than traditional sink washing. Now you can pop your dirty plates in the dishwasher and kick back with a conscience that’s as clean as your crockery.
Myth: Washing clothes at lower temperatures doesn’t clean them properly.
Need to wash the kids’ school uniforms? Don’t stress – you can get rid of the grub whilst still protecting your utility bills. Most of the energy used by a washing machine is to heat the water, so if you pop your items on a cold wash, it’ll cost less. And because washing powders and liquids are designed to clean in any temperature, you can be sure your laundry will come out spotless.
Myth: It’s cheaper to use appliances in the evening.
Depending on what type of tariff you’re signed up to, it may be cheaper to do your laundry at night, but it’s not guaranteed. Some providers charge less for electricity at certain times of the day – usually off-peak hours such as 10pm to 8am. These deals are known as time-of-use tariffs, if you’re not sure you’ve got it, you can always double check with your provider.
Myth: Quick cycles on washing machines are always cheaper.
We all know quick washes are great at saving you time, but are they good for saving money too? In short, not really. Up to 80% of the energy your washing machine uses is for heating the water. Quick washes have less time to get up to temperature, so use more energy, especially if you’re washing at 40°C or 60°C . If your washing machine has an eco-setting, that’ll be the best option for protecting your pennies.