They are very useful and often necessary. Large appliances account for about 35 per cent of the power use in your home, but they don’t have to break the bank. Regular maintenance and small changes can make a big difference.
Look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol when buying new appliances. Choosing ENERGY STAR® appliances could decrease those appliances' annual electricity costs by up to 30 per cent. The initial cost may be higher, but the secondary costs — like electricity usage — must also be considered.
Washer and Dryer
- Always wash full loads of laundry. This will cut back on the amount of times you run your washer and dryer, saving you money.
- Don’t over-dry your clothes. Some dryers have moisture sensors that automatically turn the machine off when your clothes are done.
Fridge and Freezer
- The average refrigerator from 1979 costs $180 to run per year, compared to a new ENERGY STAR® fridge that costs an average of $50 to run. Save up to $130 a year on your power bill by retiring your old power guzzling fridge or freezer and replacing it with an energy efficient model.
- Position your old refrigerator at least 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 in.) from the wall so air can move freely. If heat cannot escape, the refrigerator's cooling system has to work harder to maintain the same temperature.
- Both your refrigerator and freezer operate most efficiently when they are full, but make sure not to overcrowd them. They need enough space between foods and containers for air to circulate freely.
- Use the convection feature on your oven. The fan in the oven will circulate heat, allowing you to cook in a shorter period of time.
- Use the “self-cleaning” feature on your oven right after you cook. This way, the oven is already at a high temperature and you do not have to use as much power to heat it up.
- Avoid the temptation to open the oven while baking. An oven can lose up to 20 per cent of its heat each time the door is opened, making it work harder to bake that pie. Instead, use the oven window to check on your baking.
- Often, these smaller appliances can get the same job done in less time and they use less energy. For example, when it comes to reheating leftovers, your microwave is about 50 per cent more efficient than your oven.
- Purchase an ENERGY STAR® dehumidifier. You could save about $175 over the life of the unit.
Natural Gas Appliances
- Is it time for a new stove or clothes dryer? Electric-powered stoves and dryers are big power guzzlers. Consider a natural gas replacement; natural gas is a cheaper substitute for electricity as a power source. Learn more about your natural gas appliance options.