- Run the dishwasher only when enough dirty dishes have accumulated for a full load. Running a half-filled dishwasher twice uses two times as much energy as running a full load once.
- Scrape dirty dishes, don’t rinse. Rinsing dirty dishes before loading your dishwasher uses a lot of water and energy. Most dishwashers today can thoroughly clean dishes that have had food scraped, rather than rinsed, off — the wash cycle and detergent take care of the rest.
- Utilize your dishwasher’s energy-saving settings such as the no heat drying cycle.
- 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 in your home to a lower temperature (120° F).
- Avoid using the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
Other kitchen appliances
- Check the seals on your refrigerator door to make sure they are clean and tight. Your refrigerator accounts for up to 11 percent of your household’s total energy use, which can have a major impact on your energy bill.
- Check temperature settings. Recommended temperatures are 37°-40°F for the fresh food compartment and 5° F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0° F.
- Arrange items in your refrigerator for quick removal and return. The longer the door is open, the longer the refrigerator compressor runs.
- Dust and pet hair can build up on your refrigerator condenser coils, causing the motor to work harder and use more electricity. Make sure the coils are cleaned so that air can circulate freely.
- Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
- Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don't allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
- Recycle that second refrigerator or freezer in the garage/basement. It could be increasing your electric bill by more than $100 every year. Focus on Energy offers FREE refrigerator and freezer recycling to help you save money and energy. It’s quick and convenient—and you’ll get a cash-back reward for participating. Visit focusonenergy.com or call 855.398.5226 to schedule a pick-up.
- Install an ENERGY STAR qualified kitchen range hood to help control moisture and remove odors from cooking. ENERGY STAR qualified ventilation fans use 60% less energy on average than standard models, saving more than $60 in electricity costs over the life of the fan.