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Appliances account for about 20% of your household's energy comsumption, with refrigerators, clothes washers and clothes dryers at the top of the consumption list. When you do have to shop for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR label. To help you figure out whether an appliance is energy efficient, the federal government requires most appliances to display the bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label. Although these labels will not tell you which appliance is the most efficient, they will tell you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself.



  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the mfg. recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (115 deg. F)
  • Scrape, don't rinse off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food
  • Be sure your dishwasher is full, but don't overload
  • Don't use the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.


  • Look for refrigerator with automatic moisture control
  • Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temp's are 37 deg. to 40 deg. F for the fresh food compartment and 5 deg F for the freezer section
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerator/freezer
  • Make sure refrigerator door seals air tight
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder
  • Move your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum its condensor coils once a year. It will run for shorter periods with clean coils


  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold detergent whenever possible
  • Wash & dry full loads
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation
  • Periodically inspect the dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Mfg's recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockage