An energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) uses at least 66% less
energy than standard incandescent bulbs for the same lighting level!
televisions, computers, office equipment and other small electronics and
appliances — these add up to nearly one-third of a home's electricity
consumption. Many of these items continue to use energy even when they
have been turned off. This energy consumption has been dubbed "phantom" or
standby power. The cost to run these items can add up: Each year,
Americans spend roughly $1 billion to $2 billion in energy costs on standby
power alone. It has been estimated if everyone in America removed phantom
loads from their home that at least two power plants could be shut down.
- Turn off the lights in any room you're not using. Consider installing
timers or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
- Use task lighting. Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the
light where you need it.
Use fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for
your workroom, garage, and laundry areas.
If you have touchier fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them
with compact fluorescent trochees. Compact fluorescent trochees use 60 to 80
percent less energy and can produce more light (lumens) than the halogen
Refrigerators and Freezers
Place your refrigerator and freezer in a cool, well-ventilated location
and, when possible, some distance from the range or oven. Avoid placing a
second refrigerator in a hot garage, which will keep the unit working overtime
to try to stay cool.
Clean dirt and dust from condenser coils frequently to help your
refrigerator to operate more efficiently.
Test your refrigerator temperature and adjust the setting to maintain the
correct temperature (37-40 degrees). 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 freezer temperature, place
a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
Check door seals for proper fit to avoid air leaks. If you can easily
slide a credit card between the door and the frame, adjust or replace the
Washers and Dryers
Clean the dryer's lint filter after every load to improve air circulation.
Wash full loads of clothes, but don't pack them so tightly that water cannot
circulate freely. In summer, wash during cooler times of the day and evening.
Hang-dry your clothes outside on sunny days if possible.
Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever
Make sure the dryer is vented properly to the outside.
Periodically 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.
- Run your dishwasher with full loads only.
- If your unit has an energy-saving setting, use it.
- In winter, open the
door to allow dishes to air-dry, which will save energy and humidify the air,
making it feel warmer. In summer, use the machine's air-dry setting, and only
wash dishes during cooler times of the day and
Consider investing in EnergyStar
appliances. Check your appliances, measure your energy usage with a
Kill-a-Watt electricity meter and learn how much energy your present