If you’re interested in having the most energy-efficient appliances possible, it’s likely you’ve stumbled across the Energy Star program. To be Energy Star qualified, an appliance must perform better than average and meet stringent efficiency requirements. Today’s most energy-efficient appliances feature the Energy Star Most Efficient label, along with the year in which they qualified. This designation separates the very best from the rest of the pack.
Whether you have older, non-Energy Star appliances or new, energy-efficient appliances, here’s how to keep these machines performing well all through the winter.
Keep Your Refrigerator and Freezer Energy Efficient
It’s easy to neglect your fridge and freezer, especially if you have extra ones out in the garage, but these appliances consume power almost every minute of the day. Maintain your refrigerator and freezer to help improve their energy efficiency all winter long:
- Set the fridge between 36 and 38 degrees F. Keep the freezer at 0 to 5 degrees F.
- Make sure the refrigerator and freezer have at least an inch of clearance on all sides.
- Vacuum the condenser coils on the back or underside of the fridge to remove built-up dust and debris. Complete this task once this winter and again in the summer.
- Replace the door gasket to help it seal more tightly and keep cold air in where it belongs.
- Defrost the refrigerator and freezer when ice buildup reaches one-half-inch thick. (Most new refrigerators and freezers are self-defrosting, so this doesn’t apply to new Energy Star qualified appliances.)
Keep Your Dishwasher Energy Efficient
Cold winter nights may encourage your family to eat dinner at home, leading to more dirty dishes. To make sure your dishwasher is performing efficiently, follow these tips:
- Wait until the appliance is full before you run a load. Use the half-load or eco setting when washing smaller batches.
- New dishwashers are powerful enough to clean soiled plates, so skip the pre-rinse to save water.
- Use the air dry setting in favor of heat drying.
- Drink from the same cup or water bottle throughout the day. This prevents dirtying as many glasses and reduces the number of dishwasher loads you run each week.
Keep Your Washing Machine Energy Efficient
Winter clothes are larger and bulkier than summer outfits. This amounts to more loads of laundry. Here’s how to promote an energy-efficient washing machine this winter:
- Run full batches. When you just can’t wait, set the water level lower for smaller loads.
- Use cold water for as many batches as possible.
- When you replace your washer, opt for an Energy Star qualified front-loading machine.
- Use HE (high-efficiency) detergent for HE machines to prevent oversudsing, which can leave residue on your clothes and require a rewash.
Keep Your Dryer Energy Efficient
The dryer works extra hard in the winter to dry your bulky cold-weather gear. Make sure it works efficiently and safely all winter with these tips:
- Use a faster spin cycle on your washing machine to get as much water out of your clothes as possible before transferring them to the dryer.
- Dry batches back to back, so the appliance doesn’t cool off completely before you turn it back on.
- Clean the lint filter after every load to help your clothes dry faster and prevent a fire hazard.
- Dry batches of clothes with similar drying times.
- Hang clothing on an indoor drying rack when it’s cold outside in the winter.
For more tips to maximize appliance efficiency, or to schedule a professional repair, please contact Mr. Appliance®. We’ll help you get the most from your energy-efficient appliances so they perform well and last longer.