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Household Appliances

  • Follow the 8 rule: Use appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m., and only when they are full.
  • If you have a dishwasher, use it. It consumes a third less water than hand washing. Also, choose the air-dry (instead of the heat-dry) setting. If you don't have these settings, turn the appliance off after the final rinse and prop the door open to let the dishes dry without using extra energy.
  • Refrigerators usually consume the second most amount of energy in a home. Help the refrigerator maintain its efficiency by cleaning the coils at the back or bottom of the unit.
  • Don't stand in front of an open refrigerator while deciding what to eat. Every time you open a refrigerator door, the compressor has to run for 8-10 minutes to keep the inside cold. Keep your refrigerator organized and clearly mark items so you don’t have to search for what you want.
  • Set your refrigerator between 38 - 40° F and the freezer between 0 - 5°F.
  • Check the seal on refrigerator door by closing the door over a dollar bill or slip of paper. If you can pull it out easily, clean or replace the seal.
  • When you are on the market for a new appliance, purchase an ENERGY STAR model, which are up to 40 percent more efficient than older models. A refrigerator that is more than 10 years old uses twice the electricity of a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator, saving you up to $150 a year.
  • Use the cold water setting on your washing machine, and dry two or more loads of laundry in a row. You can take advantage of the heat already produced from the first load rather than starting from a cold dryer.