Reducing the Energy Consumption of Your Whitegoods

Whitegoods are some of the most important appliances in our homes; we use them daily for cooking, keeping food cool and fresh, washing our clothes, and cleaning, among other things. Because we use whitegoods so often, it’s important for us to know how they work, how we can reduce their overall energy consumption, and how to reduce environmental impacts by taking them to a scrap metal buyer.

Fridges and freezers

Almost every Australian household (estimated at 99.9%) has a refrigerator, and because fridges are usually kept running 24 hours a day, they are often the single biggest consumer of power within a household. Around 13% of Victorian household energy costs are spent on refrigeration, which is why it’s so important to purchase an energy efficient model and maintain proper use. A fridge works by removing heat from the inside (thereby keeping its contents cool) and transferring it outside through its radiator coils. Because of this, it’s important to ensure your fridge isn’t positioned too close to a wall so that heat can properly dissipate.

It’s also a good idea to avoid placing your fridge in enclosed spaces, in direct sunlight in summer, and to avoid putting hot food straight into the fridge, as all of these things will force your fridge to work harder and consume more energy. Radiator coils should be kept free of dust to prevent against incidental insulation, the amount of time your fridge door is left open should be minimised, and door seals should be kept clean and in working order. If you have an old fridge, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a newer model with a high energy star rating. Instead of having your old fridge sent to the tip, take it to a scrap metal buyer to further reduce your energy consumption through recycling.

Washers and dryers

Washing machines are another important household item, and because of how often they are used, and the fact that they can be expected to last for around 10 years or more, it’s important to invest in an energy efficient model. An efficient washing machine (at least 3.5 stars for energy and 4 stars for water) can save you up to 21,000 litres of water per year and up to 25% of normal running costs over a lifetime. It’s a good idea to look for a front loading washing machine with cold water cycle options in order save on water and energy. To further reduce your energy bills you should:

  • Wash using a cold cycle wherever possible
  • Ensure your washing machine contains a full load before use
  • Use the highest spin cycle to minimise the use of a clothes dryer

Clothes dryers are used in around 54% of Victorian households, however how often and how long they are used for varies a lot between households. It’s always best to let clothes dry naturally outside whenever possible, however if you must use a clothes dryer, look for an energy efficient model such as a heat pump or gas dryer. Electric dryers should have at least a 2-star energy rating. To minimise the energy consumption of your dryer it’s best to:

  • Clean the filter before use
  • Ensure proper airflow to the surrounding area to minimise humidity
  • Dry heavy and lightweight clothing separately
  • Make use of heat emitted by the machine by drying multiple loads consecutively

With both washing machines and dryers, you should always invest in the most energy efficient option in order to minimise your energy bills and your impact on the environment. Old washing machines and dryers can be taken to a metal recycling company in Melbourne in exchange for cash.


Dishwashers are present in around 50% of Victorian households and are used between four and seven times per week. By looking for a water and energy efficient dishwasher, you can drastically reduce your bills: each extra energy star can save you up to 30% on running costs. To maximise the efficiency of your dishwasher you should:

  • Only use your dishwasher on full loads
  • Run the eco cycle wherever possible
  • Regularly clean the filter

Again, old dishwashers should not simply be dumped and sent to landfill, but sent to be recycled by a reputable metal recycler.

Remember that whitegoods are meant to have a long lifespan, and by selecting well rated models and repairing small problems, you will be able to reduce not only your energy consumption and bills, but also your overall consumption of materials. If any of your whitegoods are no longer functional, or if you’re updating to more efficient models, then you should take your old whitegoods to a scrap metal buyer. The metal from your whitegoods can be recycled again and again, so when you trade them in as cash for scrap, you are reducing the waste that goes to landfill, conserving resources, and reducing emissions created in the production of new materials. Metal Men Recycling can give you cash for scrap metal and even have a scrap metal pickup service for heavier items.