What affects electricity consumption?

The specialists of the Elektrum Energy Efficiency Centre have prepared recommendations on how to reduce electricity consumption by changing daily habits!


Let's start with the common things – kitchen appliances

While it is cold outside, you may want to sip tea or coffee more often. To make a hot drink quickly and effectively, we recommend boiling water in an electric kettle and paying attention to the amount of water poured into it. By only boiling the amount of water needed, rather than the full kettle, you’ll monthly save the amount of electricity sufficient to wash the laundry 15 times.

Remember, however, that it is not recommended to boil less water in an electric kettle than the minimum mark on the kettle, so as not to damage its heating element. In addition, the kettle heating element must be decalcified regularly, as a 1 mm layer of calcification increases the consumption of electricity for boiling water by 10%.

Electric kettle – such a self-evident device for everyday use, but do you remember to take care of it?

In order not to increase the electricity consumption for boiling, the heating element of the electric kettle should be decalcified regularly. Decalcifying can be done in an environmentally friendly way using citric acid. Pour citric acid into the kettle and pour in the maximum amount of water, bring to the boil, wait until the limescale precipitates and pour out. Then boil the clean water again and pour it out.

The winter season is the right time to take care of the refrigerator as well. The refrigerator should be kept in good condition so that it can store products – cold and frozen – in an energy-efficient way.

Set the temperature to +5 °C in the refrigerator and -18 °C in the freezer. For every degree reduced unnecessarily, the refrigerator's electricity consumption increases by 5%. If the refrigerator has a temperature controller without specific temperature indications, the set temperature can be checked by inserting a thermometer suitable for such temperatures in the refrigerator.

The refrigerator should be placed away from heat sources – radiators, stoves and other appliances that emit heat during operation, as well as from direct sunlight. It is also not recommended to place it too close to the wall, in the corner of a room or in a niche, as air circulation will not be ensured and electricity consumption will increase. There should be 5-10 cm of free space around the refrigerator for air circulation.

It should be remembered that only a dedicated refrigerator may be installed in kitchen furniture. By installing a free-standing refrigerator, electricity consumption will increase disproportionately.

The refrigerator will also consume more electricity if there is a layer of ice in the freezer. Every centimetre of ice increases the electricity consumption of the refrigerator by 10%. Therefore, check that there is no layer of ice in the freezer compartment. If this is the case, be sure to defrost the freezer. This is especially important for older refrigerators that do not have an automatic defrost function. 

Clean filter – lower consumption

By changing or cleaning the filters of electrical appliances regularly, electricity consumption can be reduced by 15%. For example, we use a stove hood every time we cook, but we remember to clean the greasy filters much less often. When the stove hood is covered with grease deposits, its efficiency is significantly reduced – the air is not cleaned as well and the stove hood has to run for longer.

If the hood has a washable filter and is cleaned regularly, it can be easily cleaned with hot, running water or by soaking the filter in water. If the hood filter is difficult to clean, you can make a paste by mixing 3 cups of baking soda with 1 cup of water. The resulting paste is applied to the stains, allowing it to act for half an hour or longer if necessary, and then cleaned with a damp cloth. The stove hood filter can also be washed in the dishwasher by adding the same detergent used for dishes.

However, if the hood has disposable filters, it is recommended to replace them every two to six months. The frequency of filter replacement depends on the manufacturer and model, as well as the intensity of use of the hood. But remember – the cleaner the filters, the less electricity consumed by the hood! 

If the water is heated at home with a tank water heater or boiler

The optimal temperature for a water heater or boiler is from 55 to 59 degrees. Beyond this, the heating element starts to calcify, but if the temperature is below 55 °C, bacteria multiply intensively and the water starts to smell. If the maximum temperature of 93-97 °C is recklessly chosen, the boiler walls will heat up and the room will be heated, not just the water. As a result, electricity consumption increases.

The water heater or boiler shall be maintained at least once a year. Why? The calcified water heater’s heating element significantly increases the electricity consumption for heating water. What does maintenance mean? Clean its heating element, assess the condition of the anode and rinse the inside of the boiler thoroughly. If you have the knowledge, you can do it on your own, if not – it is better to invite a knowledgeable master.

By washing your laundry efficiently, you can reduce consumption

Compared to washing at 60 °C, washing at 40 degrees can reduce electricity consumption by 25%, while choosing a temperature of 30 °C can reduce consumption by up to 45%. Therefore, we recommend washing the laundry at a temperature of 30–40 °C. In addition, choosing the right washing temperature will make your clothes last longer, so be sure to follow the manufacturer's washing instructions on your clothing labels. However, it is recommended to wash clothes such as towels, bed clothes and extremely dirty clothes at a higher temperature.

How else can you reduce your electricity consumption by washing your laundry? Choose shorter wash cycles and fill the laundry tank full. Washing machine manufacturers also offer an additional option – to fill the tank of the washing machine half-full, which we recommend choosing if the amount of laundry to be washed is smaller, but it is necessary to wash it. This will also reduce electricity consumption. But if you have a modern washing machine, it mostly determines the weight of the laundry itself and adjusts the electricity and water consumption accordingly.

Lighting, especially important during the winter months

It is possible that incandescent bulbs are still somewhere in the house, but it is recommended to replace them with LED bulbs, as they consume 90% less electricity.

Carefully examine the lamp parameters before purchasing. The brightness of an LED bulb is indicated by a lumen, which is also the most important parameter in choosing an LED bulb. The more lumens (lm) an LED bulb has, the more light it emits. The colour temperature of the light bulbs is measured in degrees Kelvin and denoted by K. The lower the degree of Kelvin, the more yellowish the light is; the higher the degree – the more bluish the light is.

Remember to turn off the lights when leaving the room. In turn, for places indoors, where you often go but temporarily, such as the lobby, choose LED bulbs with a built-in presence or motion sensor. This will save electricity on lighting.

Switch off and disconnect electrical appliances from the socket

In order to reduce power consumption, unplug appliances – such as a TV, computer, audio system, or any other electrical device that has a digital display or a small light bulb – from the socket if you do not intend to use it for an extended period of time, or if you plan to go outside. In standby mode, appliances consume 10% of the total electricity consumption on average.

To facilitate the daily use of these electrical appliances, we recommend choosing an extension cord with an on/off switch. This will disconnect several electrical appliances in standby mode with one touch! 

Adjusting the heater temperature

Use the temperature adjustment options of the heater – do not operate it in the maximum mode unless necessary. Use the maximum mode to heat up the room quickly, but set it lower later. Heating will be much more efficient and wallet-friendly. Also, when going outside the house, turn off the electric heater – take care of safety of the home! And if the temperature of the heater is only decreased by 1 degree, electricity consumption will decrease by 5%.

If the temperature can be regulated, it is a great opportunity to create a perfect climate that will save energy. The optimal temperature of the home during the heating season is from +20 to +22 °C per day. On the other hand, the temperature should be lowered by 3-4 °C at night, as this ensures good sleep and strengthens the immune system.

Energy labelling – an assistant for the purchase of electrical appliances

All large household appliances have energy labelling. Energy labelling is a tool for the comparison of electricity and water consumption, sound level, capacity and other parameters of different appliances. Energy labelling also contains information about the energy efficiency class of the appliance or how efficiently the appliance consumes electricity. The higher the energy efficiency class, the lower its electricity consumption.

If you need more information about energy labelling, please read the explanation of energy labelling and their pictograms for different devices!


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