When purchasing new appliances, consider the purchase price, the cost to run, and the life expectancy of the appliance. The operating cost can be found on the appliance’s black and yellow EnergyGuide label. This label shows the average annual cost to run the appliance, and how it compares to other models in kWh used per year. A retailer can tell you the appliance’s life expectancy. Then do the math: Consider a refrigerator for $549 that costs an estimated $70 per year to run. Over 15 years the homeowner will spend $1050 in energy costs. A more efficient refrigerator selling for $749 might cost $50 per year to run. The homeowner will pay just $750 in energy costs over 15 years, a $300 savings and an energy-conscious purchase to boot. With energy costs on the rise, those savings could be even greater in the long run.
In gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed.
Promptly repair cut or chipped plastic coating on racks to prevent rusting. Repair kits are available.
Cover a scratch on a refrigerator or freezer door with enamel paint. First, clean with detergent and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Test the color on an unseen area, and retouch with a fine brush.
The EnergyGuide label gives you two important pieces of information you can use for comparison of different brands and models when shopping for a new refrigerator: estimated energy consumption on a scale showing a range for similar models; estimated yearly operating cost based on the national average cost of electricity.
Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy.
Use a toaster oven to cook small meals. A toaster oven uses a third to a half as much energy as a full-size oven.
To avoid rasing the temperature of a freezer, freeze no more than one-tenth of the appliance's capacity of food at one time. Also, be sure to cool foods brefore storing in the freezer. To cool hot food quickly, sit the base of the container in a sink half-filled with cold water.
Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater to a lower temperature.
Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster oven uses a third to half as much energy as a full-sized oven.