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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 trochees.

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 seal.

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 possible.

  • 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.

Dishwashers

  • 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 night.
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 appliances use. 

Home Up Products Glossary Contents About / Contact

 

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Last modified: March 01, 2017