Appliance Tips

Put Less Energy Into Making Your House Work

Tips and ideas that make every appliance in your home a smart device.
Our household appliances save us time and effort, now they can save us energy and money, too.

ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances have advanced technologies and use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models. Just by following a few basic purchasing and maintenance tips, you can save energy each month.

Source of tips:
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Refrigerator Tips
Purchasing an ENERGY STAR® Refrigerator
Look for the ENERGY STAR® name when you purchase a new refrigerator. Be sure to check out our DTE Appliance Recycling Program to see if you’re eligible for money back. ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerators are about 9 percent more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard.

ENERGY STAR®-certified refrigerators use less energy and help us reduce our impact on the environment. If all refrigerators sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR®-certified, the energy cost savings would grow to nearly $700 million each year and nine billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from more than 870,000 vehicles.

Recycling Old Refrigerators
By properly recycling your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR®-certified refrigerator, you can save more than $270 over the next 5 years on your energy bill. Be sure to check out our DTE Appliance Recycling Program to see if you’re eligible for money back.

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Freezer Tips
Purchasing ENERGY STAR® Freezers
Improvements in insulation and compressors mean today's freezers consume less energy than older models. Select a freezer that has earned the ENERGY STAR® certification for maximum energy savings and the latest features. ENERGY STAR® freezers are at least 10% more energy efficient than the minimum federal standard. Be sure to check out our DTE Appliance Recycling Program to see if you’re eligible for money back.

The Older the Freezer, the Higher Your Bills
An estimated 35 million freezers are currently in use in the United States. Over 16 million of these freezers are more than 10 years old, costing consumers $960 million per year on their energy bills. Replacing your old freezer with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR could save you $175 over the next 5 years.

Selecting Temperature
Keep the temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow these guidelines to reduce the amount of energy your freezer uses.

Manual vs. Automatic Defrost
Manual defrost freezers use half the energy of automatic defrost models, but must be defrosted periodically to achieve the energy savings. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.

Purchase an Appropriately Sized Freezer
Generally, the larger the freezer, the greater the energy consumption. Also, consider whether an upright or chest freezer better meets your needs. An upright freezer has a front-mounted door like a refrigerator and shelves that allow for easy organization. While a chest freezer typically requires more floor space, it's usually more energy efficient since the door opens from the top and less cold air escapes.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Keep your freezer indoors, such as in the basement. Extreme temperatures are hard on the compressor and can reduce the life of your freezer.

Allow Air Circulation Behind the Freezer
Leave a few inches between the wall or cabinets and the freezer. Follow these guidelines to reduce the amount of energy your freezer uses.

Check the Door Seals
Make sure the seals around the door are airtight. If not, replace them.

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Dishwasher Tips
ENERGY STAR® Dishwasher
Dishwasher technology has improved dramatically over the last decade. New ENERGY STAR certified models include several innovations that reduce energy and water consumption, and improve performance.

  • Soil sensors test how dirty dishes are throughout the wash and adjust the cycle to achieve optimum cleaning with minimum water and energy use.
  • Improved water filtration removes food particles from the wash water allowing efficient use of detergent and water throughout the cycle. The final clean-water rinse assures your dishes come out sparkling
  • More efficient jets use less energy to spray detergent and water during the clean.
  • Innovative dish rack designs maximize cleaning by strategically situating the dishes.

Standard-size dishwashers that have earned the ENERGY STAR certification are on average 12 percent more energy efficient and 30 percent more water efficient than standard models

Save Money
Washing dishes in a new ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwasher rather than hand washing can cut your utility bills by about $40 per year.

Save Time
Instead of scrubbing, rinsing, and drying each dish, just load them all in an ENERGY STAR dishwasher and press start. Using an ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwasher can save you over 230 hours of personal time over the course of a year. That's almost 10 days!

Get Better Cleaning
ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwashers have features, which result in better cleaning. For example, water temperatures reach 140 degrees, which allows for improved disinfection compared to hand washing.

Save Energy and Water
Thought you were efficient? A new ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwasher uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and saves more than 5,000 gallons of water each year!

Save the Environment
Because they use less energy, ENERGY STAR®-certified products reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases caused by burning fossil fuels. By reducing water consumption, they also help protect our lakes, streams and oceans.

Run Full Loads
Load it up. Dishwashers use about the same energy and water regardless of the number of dishes inside, so run full loads whenever possible.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR®
If you have a dishwasher made before 1994, you're paying an extra $35 a year on your utility bills compared to owning a new ENERGY STAR®-certified model. Replace an older model dishwashers with an ENERGY STAR®-certified model and save enough money to pay for dishwasher detergent all year.

Setting Air-Dry Option
Use the air-dry option. Avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features.

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Cooking Tips

Using the Microwave For Cooking

  • Your microwave is the most efficient means of cooking.
  • Shorter cooking times
  • Less heat is generated so you can also save on air-conditioning costs during the summer
  • Reduce our cooking energy by as much as 80% when using the microwave

Install An Energy Efficient Kitchen Range Hood

  • Save energy with an ENERGY STAR®-certified kitchen range hood. Ventilation fans that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 70% less energy than standard models.
  • Remove odors and moisture with less noise
  • Improve comfort

Using the Right Size Pots
Heat is lost and energy is wasted if the size of the burner is larger than the pot circumference. A 6" pot on an 8" burner wastes over 40% of the burner's heat.

Cover Your Pots On the Stove
Covering pots and pans helps you cook more efficiently by trapping the heat which increases temperatures in the pan and can reduce cooking times. It also helps keep your kitchen cooler.

Refrain From Opening the Oven Door, Except When Necessary
Every time the door is open, heat escapes.

Cleaning Burners
With a gas range, keep the burners clean to ensure maximum efficiency. Blue flames mean good combustion; yellow flames mean service may be needed to ensure the gas is burning efficiently.

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Clothes Dryer Tips
Clothes dryers use more energy than any other household appliance. ENERGY STAR®-certified dryers use 20% less energy than conventional models without sacrificing features or performance. They do this using innovative energy saving technologies, such as moisture sensors that detect when clothes are dry and automatically shut the dryer off. Many ENERGY STAR dryers also include convenient features, such as steam cycles that can help save time on ironing clothes by preventing wrinkles. Replacing your old clothes dryer with an ENERGY STAR®-certified model can save you $245.

Help the Environment
About 80 percent of American homes have a clothes dryer. If all clothes dryers sold in the US were ENERGY STAR®-certified, Americans could save more than $1.5 billion each year in utility costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 2 million vehicles. To choose a dryer that saves energy and money while protecting the environment, look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

Cleaning the Lint Filter
Cleaning the filter after every load will improve air circulation and increase the efficiency of the dryer. It’s also an important safety measure. Scrub the lint filter regularly if you use dryer sheets. Dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter that reduces air flow and, over time, can affect the performance of the motor. Use a toothbrush to scrub it clean once a month.

Avoiding Overload
Fill your clothes dryer, but don't overload it. The dryer needs space for air circulation to efficiently evaporate the water caught in the fabrics.

Periodically inspect your dryer vent pipe and remove any blockage. Better air circulation reduces drying time and saves energy.

Setting Auto-Dry
Set dryer to auto-dry cycle. Over drying clothes wastes energy.

Using Sensor Drying
Use sensor drying, not timed drying. ENERGY STAR® dryer models incorporate advanced moisture sensors to help you reduce your dryer’s energy use. This feature ensures that your dryer will automatically shut off when clothes are dry.

Use a Drying Rack or Hang Clothes Outside
Where and when possible, air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer not only saves energy, but also helps them last longer.

Low Heat Setting
Longer drying cycles on a low heat setting use less energy. When you purchase an ENERGY STAR®-certified clothes dryer, look in the informational materials shipped with the product for which cycle was tested for certification and how the dryer’s other cycles or settings may use more or less energy.

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Clothes Washer Tips
Purchasing an ENERGY STAR® Clothes Washer
The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year. ENERGY STAR can help families cut their related energy and water costs. ENERGY STAR®-certified clothes washers use about 25% less energy and 45% less water than regular washers. See if you’re eligible for a DTE rebate.

Take Time Out
Without a bulky agitator, there is more usable space in the washer for laundry — especially larger items like comforters. More capacity means fewer loads of laundry each week. What will you do with your extra time?

Long Live Your Clothes
Instead of twisting and pulling clothes around a turning agitator, front-load and advanced top-load clothes washers use sophisticated wash systems to gently flip and spin clothes through a reduced stream of water. This lengthens the life of often-washed items. Because they are so gentle, many models can safely clean silk, wool and other hand-washables. Washers with agitators pull and rub clothes to get them clean. Clothing damage can be seen in the amount of lint in your dryer.

Use Less Energy
On average, a new ENERGY STAR®-certified clothes washer uses 280 kWh of electricity and can save you about $45 a year on your utility bills compared to a standard model.

Use Less Water
A full-sized ENERGY STAR®-certified clothes washer uses 13 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons used by a standard machine. That's a savings of more than 3,000 gallons of water, per year!

Is Your Washer Over 10 Years Old?
It's estimated that there are 76 million top-loading washers, 25 million of which are at least 10 years old, still in use across the country. Washers built before 2003 are significantly less efficient than newer models. Together, these inefficient washers cost consumers $2.9 billion each year in energy and water. If you have a standard clothes washer that is over 10 years old, it's costing you, on average $210 a year.

Save the Environment
If every clothes washer purchased in the U.S. was ENERGY STAR®-certified, we could save more than $4 billion each year and prevent more than 19 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the emissions from 1.7 million vehicles. Also, by reducing water consumption, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers help preserve our lakes, streams, and oceans.

Always Use High Efficiency (HE) Detergent
Front-loading clothes washers are designed to use HE detergent. Using regular detergent creates too much suds, which will affect the machine's washing and rinsing performance. Over time, it can lead to odors and mechanical problems.

Clothes Washer Best Practices:

  • Fill it up. Clothes washers use about the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load, so run full loads whenever possible.
  • Wash in cold water. Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
  • Use a drying rack or hang clothes outside. Where and when possible, air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer not only saves energy, but also helps them last longer.
  • Avoid the sanitary cycle. This super-hot cycle, available on some models, increases energy use significantly. Only use it when necessary.
  • Activate the high spin speed option. If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes after washing. This decreases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes.
  • Leave the door open after use. Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
  • Rinse the washer every month. Some manufacturers recommend rinsing the washer each month by running a normal cycle with 1 cup of bleach to help reduce the risk of mold or mildew buildup. Consult the product owner's manual before attempting.
  • Setting the Water Level. Set the water level on your washer to match the size of the load.
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Air Purifier
Purchasing ENERGY STAR® Room Purifiers
ENERGY STAR®-certified room air purifiers are 40% more energy-efficient than standard models, saving consumers about 225 kWh/year and $30 annually on utility bills. These savings could add up to $220 over its lifetime.

Replacing Air Purifiers
Room air purifiers - sometimes referred to as "room air cleaners" - are portable, electric appliances that remove fine particles, such as dust and pollen, from indoor air. A standard room air purifier, operating continuously, uses approximately 550 kWh per year in electricity. This is more than the energy used by some new refrigerators!

When buying a room air purifier, request an ENERGY STAR®-certified model to ensure you are purchasing an energy efficient product. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, choosing an ENERGY STAR certified room air purifier over a standard model can save you $220 in energy costs over the life of the product.

Check Your Room Size
Be sure to consider the square footage of the room where you will place the room air purifier. Larger models use more energy, so choose a model that is sized appropriately to fit your room.

Consider Placement
While many room air purifiers are designed to sit on the floor, tabletop models and wall-mounting designs are also available. Regardless of configuration, it is important to read the accompanying product manual for instructions on where to place your room air purifier to achieve optimum performance.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR®
If all room air cleaners sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR®-certified, the energy cost savings would grow to more than $350 million each year and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than 570,000 vehicles.

Understanding Clean Air Delivery Rates
The ENERGY STAR specification for room air purifiers measures energy efficiency by using a Clean Air Delivery Rate-to-Watt ratio. Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a measure of the amount of contaminant-free air delivered by the room air purifier. However, the US EPA does not endorse any manufacturer claims of healthier indoor air from the use of this product.