Using appliances the right way leads to bigger savings

Have you ever tried to eat soup with a fork? Of course you have—you’re the adventurous type! And the experience probably taught you that there’s a right and wrong way to do things. Sometimes, doing things “the wrong way” leads to a miserable dining experience and some very confused dinner guests. But other times? It can actually cost you money.

We’re talking, of course, about misusing household appliances. Using them incorrectly day after day, month after month, can lead to unexpectedly high expenses. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your appliances.

Refrigerator and Freezer

  • Keep them well stocked, but not overloaded.
  • Let leftovers cool down before you place them inside—hot food takes a lot more energy to chill.
  • Make sure the seals are in good condition all the way around the doors.
  • Set refrigerators to 38 – 40 degrees, and freezers to zero.


  • Remember, ovens can heat up your house pretty fast. Grilling out is a great way to keep your indoor temperatures down.
  • Using your microwave whenever possible will also help prevent your oven from overheating your home.

Washers and Dryers

  • Always fill the machines and wash a full load.
  • Remember, it takes energy to heat your water. If you can wash your clothes in cold water, you’ll save more energy.
  • Clean your dryer’s lint vent after each load.
  • Hang your clothes up to dry whenever you can, especially heavier items such as blue jeans and sweaters.


  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s completely full.
  • Does your dishwasher have a cold water option? Take advantage of it!
  • Skip the drying cycle altogether and open the door to allow your dishes to air dry.

Hot Water Heater

  • Reduce water heater temperature to 120 degrees or less to save money (and prevent accidental scalding).


  • Outdoor lighting is a popular security feature, but by installing lights with a motion detector you can ensure they won’t run unless needed.
  • Installing timers can be a great way to ensure that both indoor and outdoor lighting isn’t used needlessly.
  • Make sure you use ENERGY STAR® LED bulbs for maximum efficiency, both indoors and out.

Televisions, Computers, and Stereos

  • Get in the habit of turning them off when you leave the room (and make sure your family gets in the habit, too).
  • Unplug these items when not in use. Even while they’re “off,” many of them still draw energy if left plugged in. (If they’re all plugged into a surge protector, you can simply switch that off instead to get the same benefit.) 

Bonus Tip: Upgrade to ENERGY STAR®
Every appliance in your home will one day need to be replaced. When that time comes, we encourage you to look for the blue ENERGY STAR logo. ENERGY STAR appliances are more efficient, cost less to run, and are better for the environment. Learn more here.


Want to learn more about ways you can save energy in your home? Contact your Energy Advisor today.