Appliances and electronics contribute to about 40-50% to the average household electricity consumption. A lot, indeed!
Older Refrigerators and Freezers Consume More than $200 of Power Per Year
New energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers can cut refrigeration costs by as much as 50% or more. Avoid side-by-side units and pay attention to their size.
For savings, defrost regularly, check the refrigerator's door seals, the thermostat and the power-saver switch; clean the coils regularly and locate the refrigerator away from heat sources..
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Energy-Efficient Clothes Washers Use 1/5 of the Energy of Old Machines
Clothes washers are energy-intensive machines.
Replacing old units can provide big energy savings; technology has improved, and energy-efficient washing machines can use a fraction of the energy of the clothes washers of 20 years ago…
Prefer a clothes washer with a MEF (Modified Energy Factor) above 2. It will consume a small fraction of the water and energy; prefer also a machine with a low Water Factor.s.
Clothes Washers FAQs
Old Clothes Dryers Consume More than $100/Year in Electricity
In favorable climates, consider using traditional clotheslines and clothes drying racks, instead of clothes dryers.
Consider energy-saving tips: run full loads, clean the dryer filter regularly, use the low-heat mode, etc.
Every Home Has Dozens of Electronic Devices that Consume $200-$300 of Electricity per Year
Electronic devices aren't energy-intensive, but every home has dozens of them, and they are responsible for about 10-15% of the average household energy bills…
A Plasma TV Uses about 3 Watts in Stand-By Mode, a Computer 4 watts, a Printer 2 watts…
“In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off” (U.S. Department of Energy).
The solution is to switch electronics off or unplug them, as much as possible… Use power strips with On/Off switches; they allow you to turn off multiple devices with one switch.
New Dishwashers Consume a Fraction of the Energy and Water of Older Units
Dishwashers are not so energy-intensive as refrigerators, clothes washers or clothes dryers. New dishwashers can consume less than 2 gallons of water per cycle, which is a small fraction of the consumption of older models.
Keep in mind the basics, when buying or using a dishwasher. They are important for energy conservation.
You can save hundreds of dollars in energy during the lifetime of your dishwasher by using it in a smarter way. Consider, whenever possible:
- Full Loads, instead of half-empty loads. The dishwasher will use the same water and energy, full or not… Consider using the rinse feature to prevent dried-on food from sticking, while waiting. It will not require significant water or energy. Avoid as much as possible to pre-rinse dishes manually, and avoid using hot water, as much as possible.
- Use the energy-saving options of the dishwasher; avoid using the more energy-intensive options.
- Use the No-Heat Air-Dry option: this option is common in new dishwashers and is intended to circulate air through the dishwasher, to dry the dishes; it uses fans instead of thermal-electric heating, and can save a lot of energy.
- Turn down the water heater thermostat: manufacturers recommend high water temperatures for optimum dishwashing, and many new machines include special built-in heaters to boost water heating; but such temperatures come with a high price tag ( not paid by the manufacturer)... Disable such a feature; use a lower temperature, say, 120º F/49º C. Probably, you will not notice any difference in the cleaning performance, and you save significant amounts of energy.
Kitchens are Often the Biggest Energy User in Our Homes
Controlling what’s going on in your kitchen is critical for home energy efficiency.
How Stringent Are Energy Star and Other Rating Systems for Home Appliances and Electronics?
Compare the information on the Energy Guide labels. That's an easy way of selecting energy-efficient models.
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