appliances tips - MidAmerican Energy

appliances tips - MidAmerican Energy
When purchasing ENERGY STAR® certified appliances,
energy bills can be reduced by up to 30 percent. From
appliances to electronics to windows and building supplies,
the ENERGY STAR label is a guarantee that the products
purchased are among the most energy efficient in their kind.
Learn more at
Before taking a trip during the winter, turn off and unplug everything you can and lower your
thermostat to 55 degrees.
When shopping for a new dehumidifier, look for an ENERGY STAR certified model to save more
than $230 in energy costs over the life of the unit.
Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before you load the dishwasher, and wash
only full loads.
Run your dishwasher after 7 p.m. to reduce heat gain in the summer.
When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for an ENERGY STAR certified model. They use over
40 percent less energy than the federal minimum standard. Look for energy-saving features
such as a built-in booster heater, an energy-saving wash cycle, and air-dry option. Use the air-dry
setting instead of heat dry to cut energy use by up to 20 percent.
Prepare several meals at one time and freeze them for later use. You’ll save energy and provide
convenient, speedy meals.
Use the right sized pan on stove burners to save about $36 a year on an electric range, or $18 for
gas. A 6" pan on an 8" burner wastes more than 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Use pan lids to
keep heat in and reduce cooking time.
Microwaves, toaster ovens, and slow cookers can use 75 percent less energy than a large electric
oven, and they won’t heat your kitchen as much on hot summer days.
Keep gas range burners clean to improve efficiency. Blue flames mean good combustion – yellow
flames mean you may need service to ensure the gas is burning efficiently.
Cook with aluminum or copper-bottomed pots and pans for even heat conduction. Pans with
straight sides and flat bottoms reduce cooking time and heat loss.
Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator or microwave before cooking them.
Once a liquid begins to boil, lower the temperature and let the food simmer. A quick boil doesn’t
cook food any faster than a slow boil.
Keep reflector pans below burners clean and shiny to allow heat to be reflected onto the pan.
You can lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit when baking with glass or ceramic
If you are broiling, roasting or cooking a casserole, you do not usually need to preheat the oven.
If you must, preheat no more than 10 minutes before baking. Rearrange oven shelves before
preheating the oven. Rearranging shelves after the oven is preheated allows heat to escape and
poses a potential burn hazard.
Replace the oven door seal if heat leaks out. Avoid opening the oven door to check on food. The
oven temperature is lowered up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit each time the door is opened.
Clothes Washer/Dryer
Select the water level to match the load size, or wash only full loads. Add detergent under spray
as washer is filling to best circulate the detergent.
Follow detergent instructions carefully. Oversudsing actually hampers effective washing action
and may require more energy in the form of extra rinses.
Use short cycles for lightly soiled and delicate clothes.
Always push the timer in before changing cycles. This prevents arcing of timer contacts and timer
When shopping for a clothes washer, look for an ENERGY STAR certified model, which uses
30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water per load.
Use cold water with cold-water detergents whenever possible to save more than $40 a year
(electric water heater) or more than $30 a year (natural gas water heater).
When you’re washing clothes, use energy-saving features such as the pre-soak, “suds saver,” and
cold-water settings.
Dry clothes in consecutive loads. Letting the machine cool down between loads wastes energy.
Clean the lint filter after every dryer load.
Ease ironing chores and conserve energy by removing clothes from the dryer as soon as possible
after the cycle completes and before wrinkles have time to set. Clothes that are promptly folded
or placed on hangers often need little or no ironing.
Keep the outside exhaust vent of your clothes dryer clean. A clogged exhaust lengthens drying
Don’t over-dry your clothes. Set your dryer’s moisture and humidity sensors to shut off the dryer
automatically when clothes are dry.
Don’t block air circulation around the unit.
Vacuum the condenser coils at least once a year. Dust-covered coils impair the efficiency of
compressor operation and increase energy use. The coils generally are accessible on the back
or bottom of the unit.
Keep liquids in a refrigerator tightly covered. Evaporation may cause the refrigerator to work
Do not let frost build up more than one-fourth of an inch in a manual defrost freezer. Frost acts
as an insulator, making the unit work harder.
Replace door gaskets that don’t seal tightly. An easy way to test gaskets is to place a dollar bill
against the frame and close the door on it. If the bill can be pulled out with a very gentle tug or,
worse yet, drops out on its own, the door requires adjustment or the gasket needs to be replaced.
Be sure the refrigerator is standing level so that the door seals properly. Use a level or a glass of
water set on top to detect imbalance.
Keep your refrigerator compartment between 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer
compartment between 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit
lower than these can increase energy use by as much as 25 percent (about $48 per year).
If possible, locate refrigerators and freezers away from direct sunlight and other warm air
sources such as ranges and heating equipment. Don’t put refrigerators and freezers in a garage.
They’re manufactured to operate in ambient temperatures (the same all year round), not
temperature extremes.
If your refrigerator was made before 1993, it uses twice the energy of newer models and could be
increasing your electric bill by more than $100 every year. When shopping for a new refrigerator,
look for an ENERGY STAR certified model.
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