Appliances

Appliances account for about 20% of your household's energy consumption, with refrigerators and clothes dryers at the top of the consumption list. When you're shopping for appliances, you can think of two price tags. The first one covers the purchase price - think of it as a down payment. The second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You'll be paying on that second price tag every month with your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance.

 

 

TIPS (from DOE's Energy Saver guide)

  • Dishwashers
    • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater to a lower temperature.
    • Scrape, don't rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
    • Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded.
    • Don't use the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
    • Let your dishes air dry; if you don't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers
    • Look for a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an "anti-sweat" heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature.
    • Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5 degrees Fahrenheit for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
    • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
    • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
    • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
    • Move your refrigerator out from the wall and vacuum its condenser coils once a year unless you have a no-clean condenser model. Your refrigerator will run for shorter periods with clean coils.
  • Washers and Dryers
    • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents when-ever possible.
    • Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
    • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
    • Don't over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
    • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
    • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
    • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.

GUIDES

WEBSITES

 Energy Star Appliances