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Energy Saving

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #15

dishwasher energy saving tips

It’s been quite some time since I last shared an easy energy saving tip, so this simple way to save energy is long overdue.

This one is about dishwashers, and I know what you’re thinking – they’re not entirely the sexiest of subjects, but bear with me please!  I know you’re also thinking that yes, yes, yes, you know that dishwashers are more energy efficient that washing dishes by hand, and so you’ve got your dishwasher and are feeling quite eco-friendly about it, while it gently hums in the corner.

But why stop there – let’s go further than that and learn how to save a whole heap more energy with your dishwasher without any additional expense or effort:

save energy simply

Did you know that by simply opening your dishwasher door after the final rinse ends, and letting your dishes air dry can save a considerable amount of energy?

I’m not sure exactly how much – I’ve seen energy saving estimates using this method ranging from a conservative 15% to a colossal 50% of energy saved.  My instinct leans towards the higher end of this spectrum – any aspect of heating, such as the heat involved in the drying cycle, is energy intensive, so skipping this step is bound to save a whole lot of energy.  But even if the actual figure sits somewhere in the middle of those estimates then that’s a heap of energy and money saved, especially if like us your dishwasher runs at least once a day.

I find the most effective way to air dry dishes is to open the door after the final rinse cycle ends, emptying out any water that has accumulated in dishes.  I then pull out the bottom rack, and leave the door open for a couple of hours.  I find that’s generally enough to dry everything – especially in this hotter summer weather.

Using a vinegar rinse aid, like the one outlined in this chemical free cleaning products post, helps reduce the likelihood of spots on glasses that might occur through air-drying, in case you’re worried about that.

If you enjoyed this and are keen to save more energy then there are fourteen other easy ways like this to help save energy: you can find all those posts under my save energy simply tag, so you can saving today!

Images – Cutlery: Sarah-Jane Brand / Door: Rebekkalvacson

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

How to Extend Battery Life on Your Smartphone

how to extend battery life

how to extend battery life

It’s incredible to think that in just a few years smartphones have become a rather ubiquitous part of  life.  The thing is smartphones drink power like nothing else: my iPhone 4s is lucky if it lasts a whole day without needing recharging, so I’ve put together some handy hints on how to extend battery life on your smartphone.

My first ever mobile phone (this one, in 1999!) would last for days upon days without so much as having to blink at a charger.  Of course, my smartphone has considerably more features than that early Nokia, and I’m not for a second suggesting switching off all of the features that make a smartphone smart, rather than just a phone, but I’ve got eleven clever ways for you on how to extend battery life.  They might not get you up to the early Nokia level of battery life, but help you carve out a little bit of extra battery!

ways to save smartphone battery power

How To Extend Battery Life On Your Smartphone:

1.  Turn the brightness down

Just as turning down the brightness on your TV can save energy, turning down the brightness on your smartphone can extend it’s battery life quite dramatically.  Set it to the minimum level your eyes can cope with, without straining, and you soon get used to the dimmer screen, promise!

2.  Use wifi when you can

If you’re in range of a wifi network connect to it rather than using cellular data.  Apparently it uses less energy!

3.  Switch off wifi and bluetooth when you’re not using them

If you’re not connected to a wifi or bluetooth network your smartphone will continue to search for one: simply switching it off when you’re not using them will help conserve precious battery life.

4.  Switch of location services/GPS

Some apps work well with GPS, such as mapping apps, and location services on things like Facebook, etc, but it’s best to only switch on location services when you need to use them.  Otherwise it will run and run in the background, constantly calibrating where you are, and constantly sucking battery.

5.  Switch off vibration alerts

For years and years I’ve much prefered the vibration alert of my phone, over a ringtone.  Imagine my despair when I learned that ringtones use less power than vibration alerts.  Vibration alerts are useful – when you’re in a meeting, or at the cinema for example, – but at other times when your ringing phone won’t disturb anyone, switch the vibration alert off.

6.  Quit applications as soon as you’ve finished using them.  

how to close running applications on an iphone

My partner will attest to the fact that I am the worst at remembering to do this, but apps running in the background are a major drain on any smartphone’s battery.  Simply clicking out of them isn’t enough to quit the application – did you know you have to manually close them?  I’m not sure how to do this on other devices, but to do this on any iPhone simply double click the home button to show all running applications (if you’ve never done this before then you’ll be surprised just how many apps you have open and running!), and swipe any running applications upwards to close them.  It’s for sure one of the best ways on how to extend battery life on your smartphone.

7.  Switch off your phone when you don’t need to be reached

If you’re going into a meeting and don’t want to be disturbed, or you’re in the cinema enjoying a particularly gripping movie then switch it off rather than switching it to silent mode.  Contrary to popular belief, switching a phone off and then on again later doesn’t use more battery.

8.  Switch off push notifications

I hate push notifications with a passion.  If I want to know I’ve got an email I’ll check my emails – I don’t want a notification about an email I’ve received at 3am!  Unless you’re waiting on a really important email then you probably don’t need email push notifications, let alone all the other apps that want to send you push notifications (especially Facebook – do you really need to know what your friend’s having for dinner RIGHT THIS SECOND?).  Every time you receive a push notification your phone lights up consuming battery power – switch that setting right off!

9.  Don’t leave your phone charging overnight.  

According to Apartment Therapy it apparently fries the battery faster than you can say “smartphone battery charger”.

10.  Consider your wallpaper

As strange as it sounds, a light coloured wallpaper on your phone uses more battery power than a dark coloured one so as you can see I need to change mine ASAP!  Animated wallpapers may look fun but are big battery killers too.

11.  Keep Your Phone Cool

Fortunately (or unfortunately?!) this isn’t a major problem in the UK for most of the year, but avoid leaving your phone on the dashboard of your car, or on a window ledge on a hot summer’s day.  For some strange technical reason that I don’t really understand, smartphones don’t like the heat, and their battery runs out quicker in hot weather.

So there you are, eleven really easy ways on how to extend battery life on your smartphone!  Try them out and see if you can charge your phone much less frequently!  If I’ve missed some add your own in the comments below!