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Most of us have some idea of how much more we could be doing to try and cut down on energy costs, but do you know how much money you could actually save by making changes in your day-to-day life and upgrading to more efficient appliances? In this post we will explore all the different ways to use less energy and how big of a difference it can actually make.

If you are looking for an appliance repair company to install a new appliance or repair or maintain an old one, give us a call! Our service heroes would love to help get your appliances running at peak performance.

Replace Old Appliances

As technology advances, almost every industry sees improvements on how much energy it takes to power certain products. Washer, dryers, and refrigerators are certainly no exception.  New appliances can operate using a fraction of the energy required by appliances 10-30 years old. The biggest way to save energy with your appliances is to upgrade to new ENERGY STAR rated appliances. 

What Does ENERGY STAR Mean?

If you have ever walked through the appliance section of Best Buy, Home Depot, or other retailers, then you have likely seen many products that have the blue and white ENERGY STAR sticker on them. You may have wondered if having that star is actually a big deal or if it’s just another marketing ploy that doesn’t really mean anything. Luckily, we are here to give you more information.

In the early 1990s the Environmental Protection Agency was looking for ways to help Americans be more efficient with their energy consumption. In 1992 they introduced the ENERGY STAR labelling program as a voluntary labelling program for manufacturers. It said that if your product meets certain energy efficiency standards set forth by program, you are able to add the energy star logo to your marketing campaign.

In 1996, the EPA worked with the US Department of Energy to set better guidelines. Soon after — and ever since — major appliances, lighting fixtures, televisions, and even commercial and industrial appliances have been brandishing the blue and white ENERGY STAR logo to show to their customers that they have invested in making their products more energy efficient.

If you are in the market for a new appliance, we highly recommend looking for one that has the approval of the ENERGY STAR program, not only because it will save you money, but because it is an easy way to contribute to protecting our environment.  Check out this infographic that shows how much money you could be saving by upgrading your old appliances to new ENERGY STAR rated ones.

Infographic that shows the amount of money saved by replacing your old appliances

Are There Other Ways to Reduce My Energy Consumption?

These days, many of us are trying to do our part to consume less energy and water as a way to contribute to taking care of our environment. Whether you are looking for a way to help the environment or just cut back on energy costs to save money, there are still ways that you can reduce your energy consumption other than replacing all of your appliances.

Use Only What You Need

This is a broad recommendation, but if you can get the hang of it, this can have a serious effect on the amount of energy your home consumes. We live in a period of excess where for the first time in our world’s history we have more people on the planet suffering from eating too much than eating too little. It’s the reason you may have seen a recent trend in “minimalism” or trying to remove the excess in your life. Netflix’s hit show titled, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” is an excellent example of this.

By applying this same idea to your appliance usage, you can consume less energy and water and in turn save money on your monthly bills. One of the biggest ways you can affect your energy use is by picking the appropriate sized appliances. Take refrigerators for example. If you only have two people living in your home then it doesn’t make sense to have the biggest fridge on the market. Not only do larger fridges take more energy, but an empty fridge takes a lot more energy to run than one that is about 70% full. At the same time, if you have a large family, it is more efficient to have one really large refrigerator than two small ones. So make sure you buy the appliances that are the appropriate size for your family.

Only Run Full Loads 

Whether we are talking about your clothes washer and dryer or your dishwasher, if you can wait until you have a full load, you can use significantly less energy by running one large load instead of several smaller ones. Many newer appliances have features that let you change the settings for smaller loads. While it is definitely better to take advantage of these settings which use less water and energy than when it is set to full, the most efficient way to use these appliances is still to wait until you have a full load and run less total cycles.

Turn Off Appliances When Not in Use

As you may have heard by now, almost every electronic product uses a small amount of energy even when they are turned off and in idle mode. One way to prevent this is by plugging your appliances into a power strip or a smart outlet and then turning it on only when you need to use it. This may be cumbersome for large appliances that are plugged in in hard to reach places, but one thing you can do is have all of your small appliances like your microwave, blender, coffee maker, etc plugged into a single power strip. This way you only have one switch to deal with and you can turn off several appliances at once.

Additional Tips

If you’re looking for some simple advice that you can apply to your day-to-day life, check out these tips on how to make the most of your appliances and use less energy. Not only will these tips help you save on energy bills, but many of them will help your appliances run better, making you less likely to have to call for an appliance repair.

Washing Machines

    • Run cold water whenever possible. Hot is still your best option for really tough stains, but the more you can use cold and warm cycles instead of hot, the better.
    • Using cold water detergents can help you get more out of your cold water washing cycles
    • Try to run fewer fuller loads instead of more frequent smaller loads.

Dryers

    • Separate towels and heavy cottons from light-weight fabrics.
    • Make sure if your dryer has a moisture sensor, you have it turned on. Over drying your clothes is a complete waste of energy.
    • The cool-down cycle makes use of leftover heat so if your dryer has a cool-down cycle, make sure to use it. 
    • Clean your lint filter! Better airflow means less energy is required to finish drying your clothes.
    • Make sure your dryer vent is not clogged. Not only is it a fire hazard, but it can reduce your dryer’s efficiency.

Refrigerators

    • Make sure your fridge and freezer are at the right temperature. Setting temps too low can be a big waste of energy, not to mention freezer burn! We recommend 37-40℉ for the fridge and 5℉ for the freezer.
    • Keep your fridge around 70% full with space between items so air can easily circulate.
    • Check your refrigerator’s door seals and make sure they are tight with no gaps. You can test this by putting a piece of paper in while you shut the door. If you can easily pull the paper out, it may be time to give our service heroes a call.
    • Avoid putting hot foods in the fridge. Let them cool down first if possible.
    • Clean your coils. You can do this by pulling your fridge away from the wall once or twice per year and using the hose on your vacuum to remove dust and debris from the coils on the back of your fridge.

We hope that this guide has been a helpful resource for all our energy conscious customers here in the Twin Cities area. If you have any questions about how to make the most of your appliances, or if you need help with appliance repair or installation, our service heroes would love to hear from you. Give us a call and we will be there in a jiffy!