Ask people today what part of modern life they could not live without, and, taking out the internet, most people will answer with a domestic appliance. A toss-up between the washing machine and the dishwasher, because we do not even think of the fridge any more, we just take it for granted. They make such a big difference to our lives today yet it wasn’t so long ago that they would have been considered a luxury rather than a necessity, if households had them at all.
Making Light Work Of Laundry
When it comes to making the biggest difference to hard work, the washing machine must win. Few people enjoy washing dishes, but washing clothes is the bigger effort, and the most time consuming of household chores. Before electric motors were in use, scrubbing clothes, and then wringing out the water took it out of both the clothes and the launderer.
New washing machines have significantly reduced the amount of water they need per load – by about 15-20 gallons – and also use less energy. Most energy use goes on heating the water, so by washing at lower temperatures, consumers can reduce their costs further.
High And Dry
Perhaps the most indulgent appliance for some – because it is arguably not a necessity – is the tumble dryer. They use a lot of energy, as they always have, but advances in technology mean that today’s driers can shut down when laundry is dry, or come on with a timed programme. Of course, there is the traditional method of hanging clothes on a line outside to dry, or failing that, and with unpredictable British weather, many people prefer to dry laundry indoors on clothes airers or over radiators.
Keeping Your Cool
Fridges are undergoing a retro revival at the moment as far as looks are concerned, but they tend to be at least twice as efficient when it comes to energy consumption. This makes them kinder to the environment and to your wallet, like for like. However, we do tend to buy much bigger units now. If you have not bought a new fridge in some years, you should consider the benefits of upgrading. When it comes to buying new appliances, The Department Of Energy And Climate Change has some useful tips for choosing the most energy efficient models and getting the best value for your money.
The Science Museum has lots of information on appliances of bygone eras and how they were used.
There are great deals available from online retailers, from white goods, through to other appliances that have made lives easier, such as kettles and toasters. Architectural Salvage Company http://www.periodhomesni.com is one such site with lots of great that they have acquired through Architectural Salvage grab a bargain and an item that has a story.
Despite the continuous improvements in energy efficiency of appliances compared to their predecessors, the number we use is on the increase, so we still need to be mindful of our impact on the environment. Manufacturers can only be held accountable to an extent as it is up to all of us to protect the environment for future generations. Next time you look to buy a new appliance, consider your carbon footprint as you make the choice.