Your refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, and other household appliances are big consumers of energy. Here are some tips to help reduce your usage and increase your savings.

Computer

Turn off your computer and monitor when you're not using them, or use your computer's sleep mode which could cut your energy usage to less than half.

Microwaves and Grills

Use microwaves or outdoor grills to cook whenever possible. Microwaves use about half the electricity of a stove or oven and cook food in significantly less time.

Boiling

Once water reaches a state of boiling, you don't need to keep your burner on high. You can turn it down and still maintain a boiling temperature.

Thawing and Leftovers

Thaw foods completely before cooking. And remember, if you're really pressed for time, it's more efficient to thaw foods in the microwave than in the oven. When your meal is done, be sure to allow the leftovers to cool before putting them back in the refrigerator.

Power Outage

Refrigerators and freezers operate most efficiently when they're full, but not overloaded. In addition, in the event of a power outage, foods will stay cold longer.

Refrigerator Location

Keep your refrigerator out of direct sunlight and in as cool a place as possible. That means keeping it away from your oven, stoves, and anything hot. Also, allow at least one inch of space on each side of the refrigerator for good circulation. Poor circulation can increase your energy use by up to 10%.

Remove Dust

Vacuum behind your refrigerator at least once a year, making sure to remove dust from the coils. Dust build-up not only increases energy use, but can cause the unit to break down.

Energy Labels

Look at the label when buying refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers and other appliances. And if you're thinking about purchasing a new TV or electronics, look for ENERGY STAR® models which use less energy and save money.