Have an energy efficient New Year!

It’s the new year with new goals. But like many of us, you may still be feeling the pinch from your holiday spending. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ways you can save energy–and money!–by changing how you use the appliances you already own.

Major appliances make up a large chunk of your household’s energy consumption. They are used often—some of them run 24/7—and  both the water and electricity they use do their jobs takes energy to deliver. Next time you’re in the market to replace an appliance, consider purchasing an energy efficient model. You could save yourself hundreds of dollars, and thousands of gallons of water, and significantly reduce the workload of your hot water heater by replacing your outdated fridge, dishwasher, or your clothes washer. Or pick just one: A clothes washer with a better spin cycle extracts more water, reducing your laundry’s drying time–which is good for your energy footprint, and good for your clothes!

While you save your pennies for a better washing machine, there are still plenty of actions you can take  to reduce your energy consumption and save on bills.

  • Run a full load. Your appliance uses the same amount of energy and water to wash a half load of dishes or clothes as it does to wash a full load, so make it count!
  • Avoid using your dishwasher’s heat dry cycle. Choose air dry cycle; or just open the dishwasher door and let the air in.
  • Follow your mom’s advice: clean your dryer’s lint filter in between loads of laundry. The less lint build-up, the more efficiently it can pull moisture out of your laundry.
  • Consider hanging some clothes out to dry. Many lighter clothes can air dry fairly quickly, and won’t wear out as fast if they aren’t tumbled together and exposed to heat.
  • Direct your dryer vent outside, especially during the summer, especially if you have an air conditioner. The less hot air in your house, the more efficient your air conditioner can be. Conversely, in cool weather, you can help conserve heat by having your dryer vent inside.
  • Keep your freezer full. A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one. If you don’t usually fill it up, keeping bags or blocks of ice in your freezer helps regulate the temperature and reduce the energy your freezer needs to keep everything cold. Bonus: less freezer burn!
  • Dust your fridge — especially the coils. The more dust they collect, the harder they have to work.  
  • Defrost your freezer regularly. The more frost build-up you have, the less efficiently the freezer can do its job.
  • Use the oven light to check on your food. Your oven loses heat every time you open the door, which means longer cooking time, and more energy wasted.
  • Use microwave or toaster oven for small portions. You can reduce energy use by up to 80%, and save on A/C costs in the summer by keeping your traditional oven off. Who wants to bake in the heat?
  • Match pot size with burner size. You can waste more than 40% of a burner’s heat if it is larger than the pot you are cooking with.
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June 26, 2020, 4:38 pm


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