Cut Your Energy Costs
- Replace an old refrigerator. One made before 1993 could be costing $140 a year in electricity. Even refrigerators built between 1993 and 2001 cost about $60 a year to run. A new Energy Star–rated model runs on about $20 worth of electricity. A new $600 refrigerator will last for decades and could pay for itself in less than five years. For efficient chilling, keep the refrigerator full, remove things stored on top of it, and clean the condenser coils annually.
- Replace a top-loading washing machine with a front-loader, which generally uses 50 percent less energy and a third less water. With those savings, it will pay for itself in six years and should last for 10.
- Do several loads of laundry in one stint every week, and dry the loads back-to-back to capture residual heat in the dryer.
- Run only full dishwasher loads. The most efficient machines use a third of the water of hand washing. About 80 percent of a dishwasher’s energy use goes to heating water. Select “unheated air-drying” to cut that by 12 percent.
Green point: A front-loading Energy Star–certified clothes washer saves enough energy annually to light your entire home for a month and a half, and it saves as much water in a year as the average person drinks in a lifetime.