Efficiency with Appliances
- Purchase the appliance that offers the performance you need without using extra energy. Bigger does not always mean better.
- Many appliances come with an energy guide label with information on energy efficiency and operating costs. Some that save energy can actually pay for themselves over time.
- Turn off lights, television sets, and other appliances when not in use.
- Cook food for several meals at once.
- Keep pots and pans covered and the oven door closed when in use.
- Run full loads in dishwashers and washing machines. Hand wash single items.
- Use the smallest appliance available to cool or heat items.
- Use appliances as instructed in the owner's manual. Never use an appliance for a job it is not designed to do, such as using a stove as a heater.
Other Energy Efficiency Tips
- Dress for comfort. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes when it's warm and sweaters and layers of clothing in cold weather.
- In warm weather, leave shades down when the sun is the strongest. Open windows on cooler days and nights. In cold weather, open shades facing the sun to let in nature's warming power. Close shades after sundown. Clean southern and western windows frequently.
- During cold weather, keep your home at 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Older persons should set their thermostats at 68 degrees or slightly higher. Lower the setting when you are not at home. Turning the thermostat down may save you from 1% to 3% on your heating bill for each degree lowered.
- Switch to energy-saving light bulbs. Consider fluorescent bulbs, which may cost more than standard bulbs, but can save energy and money in the long run.
- Provide proper attic ventilation. Besides making the house more comfortable, it provides protection against the harmful effects of excess moisture.
- Plant trees and shrubs. Deciduous trees block sun in the summer and let it shine through in colder weather. Plant these on the south-facing side. Plant evergreens on the north, east, and west sides. These trees provide a barrier from cold wind.
- Move furniture and drapes away form radiators and vents so that they can do their job.
- If you use a fireplace, turn the thermostat down. Heated air can be drawn up the chimney otherwise. Close the chimney damper after the ashes are cold.
- Do not place thermostats near windows or radiators, it makes it difficult to gauge extreme hot or cold increments in temperature.
- Do not keep ventilation fans running. Besides venting unwanted moisture and odors in the bathroom or kitchen, these fans vent valuable heated or cooled air.