Trying to "go green" this Spring and have no idea where to begin?
Why not start with your appliances?
Your appliances typically account for a huge portion of your home's energy usage, with almost 25% just coming from your kitchen appliances alone. Because of this, making small changes to how you use and maintain your appliances can have a huge impact.
Let's start with a few general tips:
Size matters - Typically, bigger the appliances use more energy. Make sure that the size of your appliances is appropriate for the size of your household and your needs.
Pull the plug - Try to unplug small appliances like toaster ovens, stand mixers, can openers, etc. when they aren't in use. Leaving them plugged in can actually still use electricity even if they're turned off.
Look for the blue star - When shopping for new appliances, try to look for models with the EnergyStar logo. This means that these appliances have undergone extensive testing proving that they offer significant energy savings.
Stove, Oven, Cooktop, or Range:
Keep it shut - When baking, try to avoid opening the oven door. Each time you open the door about 20% of the heat escapes and this can add onto your cook time. Instead, take advantage of your oven's light to check on your food without having to open it.
Match it up - When using your stovetop, try to choose a pot or pan that makes sense for the size of the burner.
Check the color - If you have a gas stove, keep an eye on the color of the flame. If it's more orange or yellow than blue, your stove likely isn't working as efficiently as it should be and you may need to clean or repair the burners.
Washer & Dryer:
Adjust the cycle - Find the shortest effective cycle to wash & dry your clothes and wash cool when possible. Many newer models will also let you adjust the cycle & fill level based on load size.
Detergent matters - Make sure you're using the right detergent & amount. If it's safe for your washer, try to use concentrated detergents so you don't need quite as much.
Clear the lint - A dirty lint filter can increase dry times & is also a safety hazard. Clear the filter/screen before or after use and to rinse it off every few months. Also, make sure that your outdoor vent & ducting are clear of any blockages.
Skip the dryer - Take advantage of the warmer weather and dry clothes on a rack or line when you can
Run full loads - Make sure that your dishwasher is full (without over-filling it) each time you run it so you don't have to use it as frequently. Also try to find the shortest effective cycle.
Let it do the work - Don't pre-rinse or pre-wash dishes, especially since your dishwasher is going to do the same thing. Newer models also typically use significantly less water than hand washing
Skip the dry cycle - If you have the time, skip the dry cycle and hand dry or let your dishes air dry.
Try a rinse aid - Rinse aids can help your dishes and cutlery dry more efficiently, potentially shortening dry times.
Clean the coils - When the coils are dirty, it forces your fridge to work harder to stay cool so try to clean them twice a year. Looking for a tutorial? - Find ours here
Reconsider keeping that old fridge - Older models use much more energy than newer models. Rather than keeping your old fridge as a spare, you'll save much more energy just getting a larger new fridge.
Check the door seal - Make sure that the gasket on the door is snug to prevent warm air from creeping into your fridge and help keep that cold air in.
Adjust the thermostat - The closer you set the temperature to the outdoor temperature, the less your air conditioner has to run. For temperature recommendations check out this post.
Keep it clean - Change your air filter & vacuum the registers every few months to make sure your unit doesn't have to work harder than necessary to cool your home.
Reverse your ceiling fans - During the warmer months, run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise while you use your air conditioner to force the air down & make it feel cooler.
We hope you found this helpful. Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more great tips!
Need parts to repair your appliances? Find what you need here.