You've been using appliances like fridges and dishwashers wrong – easy mistakes push up bills by £282 a year | The Sun

EVERYDAY appliances can cost households hundreds of pounds extra a year – but easy changes may bring your energy costs down.

Many may think that using your appliances until they give out is a money-saver but experts say that may not be the case.

In fact, you may even be tacking on to your monthly bill as some older appliances can actually use more energy.

While spending more by purchasing newer appliances may seem unreasonable, this could actually save you money going forward.

Additionally, Natalie Mathie, an energy expert at, told The Sun that tiny mistakes can and should be corrected.

In fact, those looking to make simple switches may end up saving £282 a year by ditching 14 bad energy habits.

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“Tea-making is an area where bad habits can quickly increase energy costs," she said.

"Over a quarter of households say they fill the kettle with more water than they need, potentially adding £55 to the average £93-a-year cost of tea-making if they overfill by half every time."

Other bad habits include running the tumble dryer when it’s not full (£20), leaving the lights on when you're not in the room (£12), and not using an eco setting on the tumble dryer (£53).

Just these three mistakes can cost you up to £85 per year.

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Below, The Sun put together a list of major mistakes you may be making on some of your specific appliances.

The average lifespan of appliances

Even if it's not broken, you may still need to fix it.

This may mean that replacing some of your appliances before they break down is actually worth it.

Each appliance likely has a different lifespan and ranges from seven to 20 years.

1. Overstocking your fridge

For modern refrigerators, the average lifespan is anywhere from six to 13 years depending on parts and manufacturing.

This may seem short to some, but because these appliances have dropped in price over the years, they may not last as long.

Just note that some may come with a warranty which could cover the cost of specific repairs.

While it's nice to have a packed fridge, it may actually be causing harm.

To extend its lifespan, it may be helpful to not pack as much into yours as that can damage the motor.

Plus, when there is too much inside, it may block the air vents controlling the cool air which means the fridge works harder to keep things at the right temperature.

2. Washing machine overload

As washing machines can be a major investment, making sure you buy the right one and treat it with care is important.

It may seem silly, but one mistake people make is using their machines too often.

The average lifespan of a typical washing machine is about 11 years and is determined by the number of cycles the washing machine was designed to handle.

Just note that one cycle is one wash load.

Most machines can handle a little over 4,000 cycles.

This means that if your household has four people, you could be doing seven wash loads a week or once a day.

For example, yours may do 364 wash loads – seven wash loads times 52 weeks – in a year.

If you take the 364 wash loads times 11 years that would come out to 4,004 wash loads or cycles.

Because of this, it may be wise to bring down the number of days you do laundry.

Natalie said that people have been setting their washing machines to the wrong temperature, and it's costing them.

"Over a quarter of people set their washing machine at more than 40C, potentially costing up to £26 a year more than washing at 30C," Natalie said.

3. Dishwasher repairs

Most of these appliances can last anywhere from 10- 13 years.

Many times, the mistake people make is not making the necessary repairs or replacements before seals or gaskets become worn out.

This then will typically cause many internal issues that may lead to a broken dishwasher, according to Repair Aid.

The best way to ensure that yours lives longer is cleaning and regular maintenance.

Plus, Natalie revealed that running your dishwasher when it’s not full tends to tack on an average of £11 a year to energy bills.

Additionally, not using the appliance’s eco mode may also increase costs by £28.

4. Microwaves maintenance

Microwaves have a solid eight to 10-year lifespan – even the half decent ones.

While there may not be tons you can do to expand its life, maintenance and proper care is always a sure way to keep yours working.

Since these appliances are not as expensive as the rest, by the time they break, you may be on the lookout for a new one anyway.

But instead of banking on the lower cost of these, take care of the one you have.

How to get free appliances

Struggling households in need of appliances may be able to get them for free as some home essentials are provided by councils, companies, charities and non-profit organisations.

Just note there are some requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for free help.

Typically, the help is for those considered low income, receive certain benefits or suffer from illnesses or disabilities.

Qualifying may also depend on where you live.

Councils have plenty of different schemes offering free household appliances and furniture for local residents.

Just note that the amount and type of support will depend on where you live and your personal circumstances.

Use the Gov.UK postcode checker to check out your local council and see offers.

Local councils also have assistance funds in their areas by providing essential furniture and white goods.

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Schemes are typically run on a case-by-case basis with no specific eligibility requirement.

Check out our full list of organisations that may help you grab your free appliances.

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