Appliances

Appliances account for 20 percent of your electric bill. Refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers use the most energy. Here are some simple tips to reduce your costs and energy consumption.

Refrigerators:
  • Clean condenser coils every three months or less. Dust reduces the efficiency of the unit and increases energy consumption.
  • Check the seal on your refrigerator door. Close the door over a piece of paper and try to pull the paper out. If it comes out easily, you should have the seal replaced.
  • Keep the temperature in your refrigerator at 37 to 40 degrees and in your freezer at five degrees. Check the temperature by placing an appliance thermometer in a glass of water inside for 24 hours.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods that are stored in the refrigerator to keep it from working too hard. Liquids and food release moisture that can cause the unit to be less efficient.
  • Wait for food to cool before placing it in the unit. The refrigerator will have to work harder to bring the food to the temperature inside.
  • Only keep the door open as long as necessary!

Range/Oven:
  • Use a microwave whenever possible. They only use a third to half of the energy that a conventional oven uses.
  • Make sure the seal on the oven door is tight. Try not to open the oven too much when baking. You lose 20 percent of the heat inside each time it is opened.
  • Use lids on pots and pans and cook at lower settings.
  • Use the burner size that best fits the pot you use. Heat and energy are wasted if you use a burner that is larger than the pot.
  • Keep the drip pans under coil burners clean. And don’t line them with aluminum foil, which reflects heat and can damage the elements.
  • Turn the oven off right before the food is finished cooking. Let the remaining heat finish the cooking.
  • If the flame for your pilot light and burner is yellow (it should be blue), the port needs to be unclogged or adjusted. You can use a pipe cleaner to clean it – just make sure it has cooled off!
  • A gas burner only uses 55 percent of the energy it produces and traditional electric ranges only use 65 percent. Get an induction cooktop, which uses 90 percent of the energy it produces.

Laundry:
About 90 percent of the energy used to run a washing machine goes to heating the water. To reduce the amount of energy used to wash clothing, use less water and use cold water. Here are some simple tips to reduce your utility bill and energy consumption when washing and drying laundry.
  • Wash clothes in cold water and use cold water detergents.
  • Wash and dry full loads to maximize your time and efficiency.
  • Next time you’re in the market for a washer, buy one that has the Energy Star label. They use 50 percent less energy than regular washers.
  • Dry heavy items like towels in separate loads from light-weight items like clothes.
  • Dry lighter items first.  They will give the dryer a chance to heat up, requiring less energy usage to heat up the dryer for the next load of heavier laundry.
  • Finish drying clothes with the residual heat in the dryer by utilizing the cool down cycle.
  • Don’t over dry laundry. Use a moisture setting if your dryer has one.
  • Clean the lint trap to increase air circulation, and inspect it periodically to be sure nothing is blocking it. This also prevents fires.

Dishwashers:
  • Run your dishwasher with a full load. Running small loads wastes energy because you do it more often.
  • Let your dishes air dry.
  • Don’t worry about rinsing dishes unless food is burned on or dried on. You can scrape off large pieces of food left on dishes.
  • Next time you’re in the market for a dishwasher, buy one with the Energy Star label. They use 25 percent less energy than federal standards require.
Related Links:
11610 North College Avenue
Carmel, Indiana 46032
317-573-9955    317-575-3372 (fax)
1-800-826-IMPA    info@impa.com

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