Whether a person is interested in saving money or saving the planet, one step in their mission is minimizing power usage at home. There’s much more to be done than adjusting thermostats and turning off the lights. Here are some power saving tips that go a long way to saving more pennies and conserving the world’s natural resources. Most modern appliances have certain settings that improve energy efficiency. However, even if you have an older appliance, there are still some things you can do to increase your power savings.

Refrigerator

  • Set thermostat at 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust setting seasonally. As temperatures climb, you may need to adjust the thermostat down about 3 degrees. Many modern refrigerators will have an energy-saver setting that should be used during summer months yet turned off during the winter season.
  • Position appliance in the coolest area of the kitchen if possible. Try to avoid having it adjacent to the stove, dishwasher or where it will receive direct sunlight from a kitchen window.
  • Allow a few inches of space between the wall and the back of the refrigerator.
  • Clean condenser coils of older refrigerators twice yearly to improve energy efficiency.
  • Keep the door gasket clear of food debris by cleaning it regularly. If the seal around the door is no longer effective, replace it.
  • Defrosting food in the refrigerator reduces energy consumption.
  • Cool cooked food before placing it in the refrigerator for storage.
  • Cover all foods. Uncovered foods will release moisture which will affect humidity level, making a compressor work harder.

Freezer

  • Thermostat should be set at 5 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum energy savings.
  • Open space in the freezer reduces energy efficiency. Fill up empty spaces with plastic containers of water, like old milk jugs. They will freeze, filling up space and reducing the work load of a freezer.
  • Defrost freezers when ice build-up is thicker than one quarter of an inch.
  • As with refrigerators, keep door seal free of debris and replace if it becomes ineffective.

Stove & Oven

  • Using lids allows you to cook on lower settings and use energy more efficiently.
  • Minimize opening oven door while cooking. Opening the oven door results in about 20% of heat loss.
  • Use the microwave as much as possible, even if you only pre-heat and finish up on the stove or in the oven. Microwave ovens use 30-50% less energy than conventional ovens.

Washer / Dryer

The average washing cycle uses about 40 gallons of water for each load. As much as possible, only wash when you have a full load. Recycle clothing and towels for another round of use if they are not soiled. Those basic tips aside, here are other ways to minimize energy consumption with your washer/dryer:

  • Wash with cold water only. You can eliminate 90% of your power usage by not using heated water.
  • Don’t overload the dryer
  • Dry loads back to back. It takes less time and energy for the dryer to warm up.
  • Permanent press clothing can hang dry and still be soft and non-wrinkled.
  • If you use fabric softening dryer sheets, it is important to clean your lint filter by scrubbing it with a soft-bristle toothbrush every 3-6 months, depending on your usage. Dryer sheets can cause a build-up on the lint screen that can lower a dryer’s energy efficiency.

Dishwasher

  • Routinely clean dishwasher filter and drains.
  • Select light wash cycle or energy-savings setting and air-dry over heat-dry.

Water Heater

  • Insulate your water heater.
  • Wrap and insulate pipes that lead away from the water heater. This will allow you to adjust the overall heat setting a few degrees lower because water from the water heater will lose less heat in its delivery.

Home Office Equipment

  • Rather than let computer monitors go to sleep, turn them off when not in use. This can reduce energy consumption as much as 50%.
  • Unplug equipment when not in use. A machine in stand-by mode can still use as much as 18 watts of electricity.
  • Use power strips with multiple outlets. This allows you to easily turn electronics off and better control energy consumption.

For more information on life hacks that can reduce energy consumption and save you money, please contact us. At Penny Electric, we understand how important your goals are to save energy and money. We can advise you on the latest methods to reduce energy consumption and the most innovative appliances that can make your mission easier to acomplish.