How to Use Your Home Appliances More Efficiently

Energy Efficient Home Appliance Use

Make Better Use of Your Major Appliances

Are you looking to save energy (and money) around your home? One easy way to do this is to change your habits with your major appliances. There is no need to purchase all new energy efficient appliances (although this is a very effective way to cut down on energy use). Instead, switch up your habits so that you can make the most of your existing appliances while greatly increasing the energy efficiency in your home. Check out these helpful tips below for energy savings at home.


Much of the energy used in dishwashers goes to heating the water in the appliance. Look at the manufacturer’s manual for your dishwasher and determine the recommendations on water temperature. Most have internal heating elements, so that you can avoid setting your home’s water heater to a higher temperature, and instead have it remain at a more energy efficient setting, such as 120ºF.

If you have a lot of dishes to do, don’t overfill the dishwasher, as this leads to energy waste and your dishes won’t get as clean. Instead, break the task into two separate loads for better energy efficiency.

Avoid the the “rinse hold” setting on your dishwasher when doing a smaller load of dishes; save this for larger loads only, as it can use up to 7 gallons of hot water with each cycle.


Avoid setting your refrigerator/freezer too cold. The recommended temperatures for are between 35°-38°F for the refrigerator, and 0°F for freezers.

Be sure that your refrigerator door seals are airtight and are not leaking any air. You can test them by sliding a piece of paper in between the door and refrigerator and closing it. If the paper is difficult to remove, then the seal is tight. If you find the paper easily slips out of the door, then the seal most likely will need to be replaced.

Wrap up all foods and especially any beverages/liquids stored in the refrigerator. Foods that are left uncovered will release excess moisture in the refrigerator, causing the compressor to have to work harder, which wastes energy.

Oven and Stove-top

When cooking on the stove-top, be sure to match the size of the pot or pan you are using to the size of the heating element. Keep all range burners and reflectors very clean as they will reflect the heat better, which saves you energy in the long run.

Avoid preheating your oven when cooking frozen foods, roasting, or broiling. This is an unnecessary step that wastes precious energy. Do preheat your oven when baking, however, as this does make a huge difference in the outcome of baked goods.

When cooking small meals or dishes, rather than using your stove, use toaster ovens, electric skillets or convection ovens, which will use approximately half the amount of energy as a full size oven will.