When buying appliances, most people often choose the cheapest ones but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the cheapest to use, especially in the long run. Energy efficiency plays an important part in determining the cost of owning and operating a home appliance. By reading the energy guide labels on appliances, homeowners can quickly find the most energy-efficient appliances out there, and start saving money, simply by saving energy. We’ve put together some simple tips to help you choose the best appliances:

Read the energy guide on appliances

Almost all appliances will have an energy guide label stuck onto the appliance itself or the packaging. According to the South African Energy Efficiency website, an initiative from the Department of Energy, appliance standards and labelling regulations have been put in place. A key component of these regulations is that a number of appliances are now required to be labelled with a South African Energy Efficiency Label.

The purpose of the South African Energy Efficiency Label is to ensure that consumers are informed about the relative energy efficiency of an appliance before they decide to purchase. The South African Energy Efficiency Label must, therefore, be visible on any appliances identified as requiring a label in both physical and online stores. A detailed guide to energy efficiency labelling has been developed in order to understand the labelling requirements. Labels for various categories of appliances differ depending on the functioning of the appliance, however, all labels include seven energy efficiency classes and the energy efficiency class of the particular appliance is labelled clearly. This easily helps consumers identify which are the most energy-efficient appliances when they are making the decision to purchase.

Choosing the right washing machine

If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, we’re certain the debate of top loader vs front loader has crossed your mind. According to tests performed by Reviewed.com, front-load washers cut electricity use by up to 50% when paired with an electric hot water heater. The scientists at Reviewed.com also suggested that front-load machines spin faster than top-loaders, and therefore leave clothes 10% drier, which means that your clothes dryer doesn’t need to work as hard or dry as long, which also translates to energy savings if you use a tumble dryer.

It is also important to choose the right sized washing machine for your family. Choosing a smaller sized machine may result in you doing multiple loads. However, a second way to conserve energy and save on laundry costs is to only run large loads and for this, you will need a large machine (often a top loader). By limiting the number of times you run your laundry cycle, you will be saving — regardless of whether you have a front loader or a top loader washing machine! So, we recommend you take into consideration your family size and how often you do laundry before choosing the right machine.

Fridges and freezers – the appliance that’s on 24/7

In almost every home a fridge and freezer is operated 24 hours a day, every day of the year. These appliances can use a significant amount of energy and purchasing a more efficient one will save electricity for years to come. So, how does one choose the best one? The first deciding factor is size – a larger fridge and freezer uses more energy and if you’re a small household that seldom uses all the space inside your fridge, chances that you need a bigger fridge is slim. 

Freezers can also come with some pretty nifty tools like ice dispensers but all this does is use extra electricity especially if you’re a family that uses large amounts of ice on a daily basis. Get your ice the regular way using ice cube trays! Something else to consider is the style, in general, refrigerators with top-mounted freezers use less energy than refrigerators with either side-mounted or bottom-mounted freezers.

Many energy-efficient appliances cost more initially but will save you money in the long run. When investing in quality, energy-efficient appliances, expect to keep them for 10 and 20 years. A more efficient appliance will soon pay for itself by lowering monthly utility bills over its lifetime in your home. With these tips, we hope you can greatly improve your home’s green factor while saving money at the same time.

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