Energy Tips

Energy Smart Appliance Tips


Run full loads. Dishwashers like washing machines use the same amount of energy for all loads. Use the air-dry setting or open your dishwasher after the wash cycle is finished. Air drying dishes saves more energy than the heat-dry setting. Use a water-sheeting agent, such as Jet Dry®, to allow your dishes to dry quicker. Don’t pre-rinse; scrape dishes clean instead to save up to 20 gallons of water. Run your dishwasher after peak energy hours. In some cities, this can save you money on your energy bill.


Leave the oven door closed. The more you open it to check on cooking food, the more heat you let escape, and the harder your oven has to work to stay heated. If you’re cooking a dish that has a long cook time, such as a turkey, put the dish in as the oven is heating up. Then turn the oven off and allow the heat in oven to finish the job. If you’re making two dishes that both require oven cooking at about the same temperature, put them in together.


Keep electric and gas burners clean. Clean burners reflect heat better and work more efficiently. Turn off electric burners two to three minutes before cooking is done and let residual heat take care of the rest. Use a pot or pan that fits the burner. The correct size pot or pan will distribute heat more efficiently, and less heat will be lost into the air. If your stove has radiant or halogen burners, always have a pot or pan on the burner when you turn it on to allow the pot and burner to heat at the same time. A cold pot coming in contact with a hot burner could cause a crack in the stove.


If you have an older top-loading washing machine, consider converting to a front-loading washer, which uses about 70 percent less water. Washing clothes in cold water is favorable to hot water saving you money. Always try to wash full loads. Washing machines use about the same amount of energy for all load sizes, so fill up the load. Use the high speed spin cycle, which takes more moisture out of your clothes. The drier they are coming out of the washer, the less drying time is needed.


Keep the lint filter clean to keep air flowing and to also prevent fire. When drying try to do full loads, and use the moisture sensor setting. Not only does this help save money but it also protects your clothes from heat damage. The dryer exhaust needs to be cleaned to prevent dryer fires and reduce drying time. The dryer should be at least four inches away from the wall to prevent kinks or tears from forming in the exhaust vent.


Keep the refrigerator out of direct sunlight and heat-producing appliances. Refrigerators are built to stay in a conditioned climate, so the excess heat will make your refrigerator work harder to keep cool. They should be at least two to three inches away from the wall allowing breathing room and better air flow around the condenser coils, which helps the refrigerator cool more efficiently. Twice a year the door seals should be cleaned with a mild soap so that they do not dry out. If they do then it will have to be replaced or else cold air will be lost. The back of the refrigerator along with the condenser coils should be cleaned twice a year from all the pet hair and dust that has collected. This will help the refrigerator work less saving you money. Limit the number of times you open the refrigerator door. The air suction created by the action of opening the door causes the refrigerator to lost more air than if the door were left open a little longer. Last thing keep the refrigerator and freezer moderately full. This will help it stay cool more efficiently with product that is frozen or cold.