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Appliances and Electronics

 ·        The average American home produces 9,900 pounds of CO2 per year and spends 20% of its energy bill on powering appliances.

·        Many appliances, such as cell phone chargers, TVs, and coffee pots draw electricity even when they are off. This can amount to 5%-10% of the total electric bill.

·        You can buy electricity produced from wind or solar sources, for an additional cost, from the utility to support renewable energy production.

·        You can perform an energy audit on your home

o       Alliance to Save Energy has a free do-it-yourself guide online

o       So does the EPA

·        Air-conditioning

o       Full-house systems are more efficient because there is less heat loss between the room that is cool and the other rooms

o       Consider installing awnings and planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of the house to help cool the house in the summer

o       When buying an A/C look for an EER rating of more than 11 and SEER ratings of more than 14, as recommended for Energy Star designation

o       Keep the coils on your AC clean for max efficiency

o       Evaporative coolers use 75% less energy than an AC and can cool air by 20 deg. They work best in dry climates, such as Colorado, but do use a large amount of water.  

o       Whole house or ceiling fans are also very effective and use 90% less energy than AC

o       Use a programmable thermostat and turn the AC off when you leave for a long time

·        Fridge

o       Energy Star refrigerators consume 40% less than conventional ones

o       A full fridge uses less energy than an empty one, so keep it stocked

o       Top mounted freezers use less energy than side by side models

o       Set your fridge at 35 - 38 deg. F and your freezer at 0 deg F

·        Air filters and cleaners 

o       Avoid ozone producing cleaners and ionizers

o       A room-by-room air filter system is better than a whole house system because it can work year round, whereas the whole house system only works when air is running through the ducts.

o       HEPA filters are best

o       Make sure to clean or replace filters regularly

·        Vacuum     

o       HEPA filters work well or look for even more effective ULPA filters if you have allergies

·        Dishwashers

o       Only run it when the dishwasher is full

o       Unless you are very careful when hand-washing, a dishwasher will use less water (6-15 gal per load)  for the same amount of dishes

§         Look for Energy Star dishwashers that use 6 gallons or less per load

§         Skip the pre-rinse and just scrape the food off to save water

o       Air or hand dry dishes instead of drying in the dishwasher to save energy

·        Washing Machines

o       If you are buying a new one look for the Energy Star label

o       A new dryer should have an MEF (Modified Energy Factor) around 1.7

o       New top and front loading machines can be efficient

o       Use cold water as much as possible, you don't need hot water

·        Dryer

o       Use a clothes line instead of a drying machine

§         New legislation in Colorado prohibits HOAs from restricting the use of retractable clothes lines, among other energy efficiency measures.

o       Clean the lint trap before every use to increase efficiency

o       Dry natural and synthetic fibers separate to reduce static and the need for anti-static sheets

·        Stoves

o       Gas is greener than electric, but needs to have electric ignition

o       Induction stoves are the best electrical option.  They heat using electromagnetic waves applied to the pot. The surface of the stove remains cool.

o       Always use a lid

o       Don't set the flame so high that it goes past the pot

o       Match the pot to the burner size

o       Use high quality cookware like copper, cast iron, stainless steel or anodized aluminum

·        Ovens

o       Convection ovens cook food 25% faster than regular ones

o       Self-cleaning ovens are designed to keep the heat in better than conventional

o       Consider a pressure cooker which can cook faster and takes 75% less energy

o       Slow cookers are also energy efficient

o       Toaster ovens take half the energy to run than a full size one

·        Batteries and Chargers

o       Find out where to recycle them in your area

o       Use rechargeable batteries

§         Every rechargeable battery saves 500-1000 regular batteries

§         Rechargeable Batteries can be recycled at many locations.

·        Cell phones           

o       Unplug the charger when the charge is full, don't leave overnight.

o       Functioning phones can be donated to EcoCell

§         Erase all personal info

·        Computers

o       Look for the EPEAT environmental label

o       Recycle the computer

o       Use the sleep and hibernate function and turn the computer off entirely overnight and on weekends when not in use

·        TV

o       Flat screens (LCD) use slightly more power than old fashioned TVs but are more environmentally friendly overall

§         Plasma TVs use double the energy of an LCD

o       Use a power strip because a TV set to off can consume as much as 1/5 the energy of when its on.

·        Flashlights

o       Use an LED flashlight and save 90% of the energy compared to an incandescent flash light

o       Use hand-crank or solar powered flashlights