Try these low- or no-cost tips to boost your household’s energy efficiency:
- Locate your refrigerator in a cool spot with good air circulation and away from heat sources like direct sunlight, your kitchen range and heat vents.
- Carefully select a refrigerator/freezer with energy-saving features. Units with the ENERGY STAR label are among the most efficient. Be aware that manual-defrost freezers use up to 30% less energy than units that defrost automatically.
- If you have a manual-defrost freezer, be sure to defrost regularly. You should not allow a build-up of more than 1/4" of ice. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
- Avoid putting hot foods in the refrigerator.
- Clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils regularly.
- Use your refrigerator optimally. A full but not tightly-packed refrigerator is most efficient.
- Inspect the seals on your refrigerator, freezer and oven doors to ensure that they fit tightly. Simply place a lighted flashlight inside the appliance. If you see light around the gasket after the door is closed, replace the gasket.
Other Kitchen Appliances
- Use the dishwasher only when full. In addition, let clean dishes air dry.
- Install a flow restrictor in the kitchen sink faucet to reduce the use of hot water.
- Use cold water rather than hot when operating your food disposer.
- Consider showers rather than baths. A typical shower requires only half as much hot water as an average bath.
- Repair all leaky faucets. One drop per second can waste as much as 10 gallons of water in a week. If the water is hot, you lose not only the water but also the energy used to heat the water.
- Install water flow restrictors on your shower heads and faucets to reduce your water use.
- Wash clothes in hot water only when necessary. Always use cold water for rinsing.
- Operate washers and dryers with full loads to make best use of warm water or warm air. See the manufacturer’s literature to determine the maximum load.
- Clean the lint screen on your dryer after each use to keep it running efficiently. Also check the dryer exhaust periodically to be sure it is not blocked. This is safe and efficient.
- Don’t overdry clothes in the dryer.