As mentioned in previous posts, your appliances and home electronics are responsible for about 20 percent of your energy bills. These appliances and electronics include everything from clothes washers and dryers, to computers, to water heaters. By shopping for energy-efficient appliances and turning off appliances when they’re not in use you can achieve real savings in your monthly energy bill.
Here are some other helpful tips for saving money while operating your appliances and home electronics:
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
- Air-dry clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics.
- Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers.
- Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
- Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
- Make sure power management is activated on your computer.
- Unplug your appliance or use a power strip and use the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance. Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off.
- For older appliances, use a power controlling device (Beth B.—link to blog 44?) to reduce the energy consumption of the appliance’s electric motor.
- Regularly inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
- Before purchasing an appliance or electronic device, estimate its annual energy cost using this guide.
- Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible. Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost-effective than throwaway batteries.
- Don’t use your computer screen saver. Automatic switching to sleep mode or manually turning monitors off is always the better energy-saving strategy.
- Put the AC adapter for your laptop on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically); the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter.
- Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.
- Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
- Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
- Turn off your monitor when you’re away from your PC for 20 minutes or more. If you will be away for two hours or more, turn off your computer and monitor.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about money saving tips and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.