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Home and Garden

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Why It’s Important to Defrost Your Freezer

how to defrost your freezer

Are you wondering why it’s important to defrost your freezer? Read on!

I’m big on saving energy. For the last little while, I’ve been sharing easy energy-saving tips that anyone can do, regardless of whether you own your home or not.

I’m particularly focusing on tips that are really easy to do, without the need to buy any energy-saving devices, or hire tradespeople.  In fact, by following these tips you’ll save money at the same time as saving energy, which is always good! Especially with energy bills projected to rise in 2021.

So, without further ado, here’s a good easy energy saving tip for you:

Why It’s Important to Defrost Your Freezer

why you should defrost your freezer

It’s really important to defrost your freezer, especially if it’s looking a bit glacier-like in there. This is because frost buildup in your freezer increases the amount of work your freezer’s motor has to do. If the motor is working harder, then this means it’s using more energy.  Keeping it fairly frost-free means savings for the environment and for you. Not convinced? This Is Money says you can save £100 to £200 a year just by defrosting your freezer. More than a pretty penny!

I know it’s a total pain in the bum to defrost your freezer.  We defrosted ours last week. Without the luxury of a second freezer to store the food in, it meant that in the run-up to the big defrost we had to eat everything up that was in the freezer to prevent food waste.  We unearthed 40 (yes, 40, thanks to an internet shopping mix-up!) vegetable fingers that we had to eat up.  Now I don’t think I can look at another vegetable finger without feeling more than a little nauseous.

It was worth it though. We can get to what we want easily without having to hack off bits of ice (it had got that bad!).

How to Defrost A Freezer

Thankfully, defrosting is a straightforward job, however, you will need to devote a couple of hours to the job.

What You Will Need

To defrost a freezer, you will need a couple of towels to protect your floor. You’ll also need a dish shallow enough to sit under the freezer’s drainage spout that you’ll be prepared to empty frequently, as well as some bowls to sit in your freezer.

What to Do

Empty all the food from your freezer, and remove any freezer drawers.

Switch off your freezer at the wall, and place a bowl of boiled water on each shelf. This helps to speed up the thawing process.

However tempting it may be, do not under any circumstances hack at the ice with a knife, hammer, or any other tool.  Instead, have patience and just leave your freezer to defrost on its own, rather than risk puncturing your freezer pipes.

Don’t pour boiling water on your freezer either, as this could cause your freezer pipes to burst.

Once the water is melted, mop up any puddles of water, and clean your fridge with your cleaner of choice. I tend to use my homemade cleaning spray for jobs like this.

Pop your drawers back in, and switch the freezer back on. Voila!

Found this tip useful? Check out my other tip on why you should fill your freezer for maximum energy-efficiency.

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

How To Save Energy While Cooking

how to save energy while cooking

Want to know how to save energy while cooking? I’ve got a really simple energy-saving tip on this for you.

Energy saving is important for the environment because on average, electricity and gas use creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes. Cut our electricity and gas use, and we cut our carbon emissions, helping to tackle climate change.

To help, I thought I’d start a blog series on how to save energy simply. And whilst you can save energy by making improvements to your home, for this series I want to focus on the tips anyone can do. Whether you own your home or not. So I’ll be focusing on the tips that don’t need any fancy equipment, nor do they require you to spend any money whatsoever. This is especially relevant as energy bills are expected to rise steeply in 2021.

Today’s tip is about saving energy in the kitchen whilst you are cooking.  Which, whatever form of energy you’re talking about, then I am all for!

How To Save Energy Cooking

how to save energy while cooking

Whether you pronounce it microwave or meek-ro wah-vé a la Nigella Lawson, did you know that using your microwave is a great way to save energy when you are cooking?

Yup, according to Energy Star, a US programme that rates the energy efficiency of household appliances, cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80% of the energy used to cook or warm the food up in the oven.

You see, microwaves work by using high-frequency radio waves to heat water molecules inside the food.  This makes them ideal for cooking small quantities of food, very quickly.  With small quantities of food, not only do they cook in minutes (or less) but you’re also saving energy through the fact that you don’t need to preheat your oven.  My electric oven takes an age to heat up (15 minutes or so to 200°C) so for every portion of food I cook in the microwave, I’m saving at least 25 minutes of oven electricity.

Should I Microwave Larger Quantities Of Food?

For large quantities of food, then you won’t save energy cooking food in your microwave. Here, it’s always more efficient to use your hob or oven, due to the larger content of water molecules and the differing way that hobs and ovens cook food.  In terms of energy efficiency – microwaves are the most energy-efficient, followed by hobs, followed by ovens.  So look to cook your food on the hob first, before the oven, where possible.

So there you have it: for large portions of food – use your oven or hob.  For small portions of food – microwave it.  Apart from a baked potato – I hate microwaved baked potatoes so I’ll give you that one exception!

And today, as I’m in a good mood, I’ll give you two tips for the price of one: remember to switch your microwave off at the wall when you’re done so you’re not wasting energy powering the microwave’s clock!

AND as I feel like spoiling you even more, here’s a link to some surprising uses for microwaves, including sterilising sponges without the use of bleach, and sterilising garden soil to make it fit for planting seedlings in. Don’t say I’m not good to you!

And do check out my other tips on saving energy in the kitchen: