Let Your Appliances Help You Save Money
Many wonderful things come with cold weather—winter holidays, snuggling by the fire, snow days. But colder weather can also bring higher utility bills. You’ve probably heard about lowering your thermostat or insulating your widows to save money, but did you know your appliances can help you lower your utility bills too? When you know the tricks, your appliances can help you save money on your gas bills, electric bills, and even your water bills.
General Money-Saving Tips
Switching to Energy Star appliances really can make a big difference in your electricity bills. You can save as much as 30%—up to $600 per appliance per year—when you replace one of your old appliances with one that’s Energy Star compliant. No matter what kind of heating system you have, you can help it work more efficiently by running ceiling fans in reverse to help circulate the rising warm air. You can even use sunny days to help warm your home by opening curtains during the day, then closing curtains at night to keep the heat from escaping to the outside. And if you’re using your fireplace for extra warmth, be sure to keep the damper closed when it’s not in use to prevent the heater’s warm air from escaping up the chimney.
Saving Money in the Kitchen
Whether it’s gas or electric, your oven gets used more often than almost any other appliance in your kitchen. As a result, it has a high potential for energy savings. When using your over, be sure to:
Only use your oven to cook big meals. For small meals or when reheating, use the microwave, a toaster oven, or a slow cooker.
Leave the door propped open when you’re finished using the oven. The residual heat can be used to warm the kitchen and connecting rooms.
Use your stove vent fans as little as possible. Venting your kitchen can suck the warm air out of your home, which will have to be replaced by the heater.
Other kitchen appliances, like your microwave and your refrigerator, use electricity too. In fact, your refrigerator often uses more electricity than all your other kitchen appliances combined. As a result, the better your refrigerator runs, the more money you’ll save. Keep your refrigerator running at peak efficiency by brushing and vacuuming the coils, at the bottom and in the back, to remove lint and dust build-up. To save even more, use your microwave instead of the stove top to boil liquid for tea, hot chocolate, or other warm drinks. In fact, because it doesn’t have to heat up, your microwave is often the most energy-efficient way to cook small meals or to reheat leftovers. Routine maintenance will ensure all your appliances are operating most efficiently.
The kitchen also gives you the opportunity to save on water bills. Many homeowners are surprised to find out that it takes more water to wash dishes by hand than to wash them in the dishwasher. To save the most on your water bill, don’t pre-rinse dishes—just scrape food off the plates and load them into the dishwasher. Be sure to only run a full dishwasher since partial loads use the same amount of water as full loads. You’ll also save water by running your garbage disposal as little as possible—compost food or throw it in the trash instead.
Saving Money in the Laundry Room
Next to kitchen appliances, your washing machine and dryer have the most potential to help you save money on your electric, gas, and water bills. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your washer and dryer, only running full loads in both. No matter what brand of washer/dryer combo you have, you’ll save money using these tips.
It costs money to heat water, so only wash clothes in hot water when it’s necessary.
If your washing machine and dryer are set up in an unheated garage or basement, make sure they’re protected from extreme cold. They’ll use less energy and will be less likely to break down.
Keep the lint screen and the exhaust in your dryer clean. Whether it’s gas or electric, a clogged lint screen greatly reduces a dryer’s efficiency. Clean the lint screen after each load and clean the exhaust duct once a year. Companies like Mr. Appliance can clean your dryer vents, which shortens drying times for clothes.
Don’t overfill your washer or dryer past the recommended limit. It overworks the appliances, making them less energy efficient and more likely to break down.
Whether your appliances are fairly new or have been around a while, Mr. Appliance can help you keep them as energy efficient as possible. When you provide regular maintenance and quality replacement parts, you’re making sure that your appliances are in the best shape to help you save money. Covered by warranty or not, you'll never encounter surprise fees—and that just might save you the most money of all.