Your appliances are only as energy efficient as the way you use them. Appliances account for about 20 percent of your household energy use, with refrigerators and clothes dryers topping the consumption list. For #EnergyEfficiencyDay, here are some simple tips to help you maximize your energy savings.
- Stay full. Your washing machine uses the same amount of water and energy when you run it half-full as completely full, so run full loads for maximum efficiency. Dry one load right after the other. This will reduce warm-up and drying times. Your freezer and refrigerator do better when they’re full too
- Take your temperature. Almost 90 percent of the energy consumed by your washing machine is used to heat the water – dialing down from hot to warm can cut energy use in half, while effectively cleaning your clothes. Also, keep in mind that many of today’s laundry detergents are formulated for use in cold water, so they might do the job just as well. Saving energy can also help save your clothes – washing them in cold water can help keep colors bright and avoid setting stains, as can air drying them rather than using your dryer.
- Maintain your machines. Keep your appliances clean for maximum efficiency. That means cleaning out the lint trap as well as hoses in your dryer; checking the trap and spray arm in your dishwasher for food particles; and vacuuming the coils of your fridge (every three months to ensure it is running efficiently, every month if you have pets).
Don’t waste the energy-efficient properties of your appliances by using them improperly. A little forethought and planning will ensure that you are getting the maximum value from your hard-working household helpers.