- Clothes washers and dryers
- Home audio equipment
- Refrigerator and freezers
- Room air conditioners
- Televisions, Home Theater Systems, Sound Bars, and more
- Water heaters
- Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature. Many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature.
- Newer dishwashers don't require that you rinse your dishes. All you need to do is scrape off large pieces of food, and the dishwasher will take care of the rest. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
- Only run your dishwasher when you have a full load of dishes, but don't overload it.
- Don't use the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
- Let your dishes air dry if you don't have an automatic air-dry setting. To manually let your dishes air dry, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open.
- Keep the door shut as much as possible. Try not to stand in front of an open refrigerator while deciding what to take out. Preplan what you're after while the door is shut.
- A full fridge and freezer is more efficient than one that is less full. Add gallons of water to help take up the empty space.
- Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.
- To check refrigerator temperature, place an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To check the temperature of the freezer, place the thermometer between frozen packages and read after 24 hours.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
- Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or dollar bill so its half in and half out. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
- Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
- Pull the refrigerator away from the wall regularly to clean the coils with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Clean coils help the refrigerator run more efficiently.
- Only wash and dry full loads, but do not overload the machines.
- Wash clothes in cold water. New high efficiency detergents do not require warm or hot water.
- Clean your washing machine according to your owner's manual annually to ensure proper washing.
- Use your dryer's moisture sensor to detect when clothes are just dry, so they are not over-dried.
- Clean the lint filter of the dryer before every load to improve air circulation. Also, your dryer vents need to be regularly cleared of lint, which will save energy and prevent a fire.
- Dryer sheets also cause a film or residue to be left behind. These need to be regularly cleaned with warm soapy water to remove the residue.
- EnergyGuide Label - The Federal Trade Commission requires EnergyGuide labels on most home appliances (except for stove ranges and ovens), but not home electronics, such as computers, televisions, and home audio equipment. EnergyGuide labels provide an estimate of the product's energy consumption or energy efficiency. They also show the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiency estimates of similar appliance models.
- ENERGY STAR Label - The common blue label with the white star appears on appliances and home electronics that meet strict energy efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ENERGY STAR labeling program includes most home electronics and appliances except for stove ranges and ovens.
One important thing to know is that even though a product is labeled ENERGY STAR there may be other models who use even less energy. The ENERGY STAR label guarantees that it uses less than a specific standard set for each appliance. Some models are as energy efficient as the standard, while other models are even more energy efficient. Do your homework and look at the EnergyGuide Label or research energy consumption on ENERGY STAR's website to compare models.
And remember to recycle your old appliance rather than just throwing it away.