Five energy-guzzling appliances adding hundreds to bills and how to fix – from washing machines to fridges | The Sun

CUTTING back on energy use in summer is a big help with bills

But even with the heating off, there are still some major ways you could be spending more than you need to.

Everyday appliances around the home could be guzzling more energy than you think.

The good news is there are easy ways to fix it and they needn't be complicated or break the bank.

With energy bills set to rocket in winter, it could pay to get into good habits now, from checking your washing machine settings to defrosting the freezer.

Small changes to habits now and tweaks to devices could save you hundreds of pounds a year.


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Here are all the ways you can save on energy guzzling home appliances.

It's worth remembering though that appliances can vary along with your usage and how much you pay for energy, so the exact saving will vary from onehome to the next.

Appliances which use water to work – like washing machines and dishwashers – account for 25% of the total average household's electricity bill, according to Currys.

Slashing the cost of these appliances could make a big difference.

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Washing machine

According to the Energy Saving Trust switching from a 40 degree wash to a 30 degree one could shave on average £12 a year off your energy bill.

Uswitch energy expert Will Owen previously told The Sun: "Use a cold water or 30°C cycle where possible.

"It's only for particularly dirty clothes, bad stains or underwear that you are likely to need warmer temperatures."

In fact you could even go lower than 30 degrees to save more cash and you'll still get a good wash.

According to Which? all washing machines in the UK have been required to have a 20°C option visible on the control panel since 2013, to help save energy. 

Most models of washing machine now come with an eco-mode that can be used to save the environment – and some cash.

This setting will use less water and means you'll use less energy to heat it when washing your clothes.

These are usually set to 30 degrees too, but may also run for a shorter time.

According to British Gas engineer Joanna Flowers, you could save £10 a year from dialling your machine to this setting.

Meanwhile an extra washing machine spin before you tumble dry your load could shorten the time you have the dryer on.


Using the eco setting on your dishwasher could also save you cash.

Your normal dishwasher setting is usually set at a temperature of between 55ºC and 65ºC.

An eco wash or energy saving setting generally uses around 20% to 40% less energy, according to Which?.

They generally run at 45ºC to 50ºC, which means it's cheaper to run but still gets your dishes clean.

These settings usually use less water too, but run for longer than a standard wash.

According to Bosch, using eco-mode compared to the auto programme will save you around 523 kWh of energy over a year.

One kWh of electricity currently costs 28p – so that's a saving of £146.44 over a year.

But ditching the dishwasher altogether and washing up by hand could help you save more

The average cost of running a dishwasher based on three loads a week adds up to £110.76 a year.

Fridges and freezers

Appliances which use energy to cool things – like fridges and freezers – could be proving to be expensive too.

They total around 16% of the total average household's electricity bill.

The reason why they could be driving up your bills is because they are not working efficiently.

Failing to defrost it for instance could be adding on an extra £150 a year.

Meanwhile, when you have too much food in your fridge or freezer, the appliance struggles to keep all the items of food cold, and uses more energy as a result.

Experts at Energyhelpline previously told The Sun: "Unclutter your fridge, so make sure your fridge isn’t packed to the brim.

"Especially near the ventilating outlets as keeping space at the top and sides of your fridge helps the cool air move around easier."

But with that said you shouldn't leave it empty either.

If either are sparse, you can keep your fridge and freezer filled with things like bottles of tap water that will slot into the empty space.

You can also fill empty space in the freezer with screwed up newspaper.

Both DIY items can quickly freeze over – and once they do they'll keep the rest of the contents cooler, so the appliance won't have to work as hard.

Placing a fridge freezer in a cool and ventilated area will mean it uses around 216kWh less energy a year – saving you around £60.


We all love a cuppa – but the nation's love of brews could be costing us a lot.

Kettles – along with other kitchen appliances like cookers and blenders – account for 19% of the average home's energy use.

Overfill it and you're boiling more water than you need to, costing extra energy and crucially money.

Tashema Jackson, consumer champion at energyhelpline previously told The Sun: "Adjusting how much water you use and the temperature you boil your water to, can save you around £6 a year."

The exact amount you can save depends on your how much you pay for energy and how many cuppas you have each day – the more you drink the more you stand to save.

Simply take the mug you're using and fill that with water before pouring it into the kettle, that way you know you're only paying to boil what you actually use.

TVs, computers and games consoles

It can be easy to forget to switch off the telly or your games console in the evening.

But it can mean that its eating up 19% of your total electricity bill.

Experts warn that leaving everyday items like this on – known as the "vampire" or "phantom" load – could be adding as much as £500 a year to your energy bills unnecessarily.

A TV is one of the most energy-hungry devices in the house when left on standby.

A telly uses 40 watts of energy when it's being used, but still wants 10 watts when it's sitting in standby.

British Gas' research suggests more than 60% of households leave their TV on standby for an average of 20 hours every day.

Making sure you turn it off could save you £24.61 a year.

Keeping your computer switched on or on standby could be wasting money.

Loop estimates that failing to turn your computer off could cost you an extra £79 a year and even more when energy costs are set to rise in October.

A set-top-box recorder is a great way to ensure you don't miss your favourite programmes and can catch up if you have been away.

But if the device is faulty or unused then you could just be recording a lot of energy use.

Loop estimates that the cost of leaving a set-top box recorder is as much as £149 annually.

Your Xbox and Playstation use 130 an 120 watts respectively when they’re in use, but still eat up 10 watts when they’re on standby.

It's estimated that households can save an average of £12.17 per year by switching off their game consoles when not in use.

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