Since 1974 Sargents Home Appliance Sales and Service In Reno and Sparks. (775) 358-4246

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Energy-Saving Tips for Efficient Appliance Usage: A Comprehensive Guide

Among the chaos of modern life, our trusty appliances stand as helpful partners that ease our burdens of everyday life and keep our homes running smoothly. But have you ever wondered if these loyal members of the household might be secretly contributing to your energy bills spiraling out of control? If you've ever wished for the knowledge on how to transform your energy-hungry appliances into lean, green efficiency machines, you're in for a treat. Welcome to a guide that promises to reveal the secrets and hidden gems of energy-saving wisdom, straight from the treasure trove of an industry expert. In 'Energy-Saving Tips for Efficient Appliance Usage,' we're about to dive deep into a world that will revolutionize the way you interact with your washers, dryers, refrigerators and more. Bid farewell to wasted watts and buckle up as we dive into a world where your appliances not only serve you but also Mother Earth, one energy-efficient cycle at a time.

Cracking the Code of Appliance Efficiency

I know what you’re thinking. You wish we could go back to a world where the amount of water being used in my dishwasher wasn’t important. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that there are more people using more appliances than ever before. With this massive increase in people using energy and water consuming appliances there is a need to have a more energy efficient house, so there’s more energy to go around. Most newer appliances already have the water consumption and energy usage under control. But what about your old appliance that you don’t want to give up? Let's jump into some things we can do to help get the most out of your appliances without racking up a high energy bill.

Washers: Mastering Water Efficiency and Temperature Selection


  1. Use the correct water level for the load you’re washing.
  2. Is the extra rinse always on?
  3. Use the correct water temperature for the stains or materials you have.

Washers use an incredible amount of water. The amount of water each cycle uses depends on a few factors, but it can be anywhere between 15 gallons and 40 gallons, PER CYCLE. Front load washers are going to use far less water than a top load, while still allowing you to have a large capacity. If water consumption is important to you, make sure you’re using the right load size for the job. You’d be surprised to find out that most people never change the load size on their washer. Even when doing a small load, the water level never moves. This one change could save you 20 gallons. A good rule is to do almost full loads most of the time. You’ll get the most out of your energy and water consumption this way. Another thing I often see is the extra rinse always being on. There’s this strange misconception that adding more soap is going to make your clothes cleaner. On top of being false, it’s not that great for your machine. Most people know this and opt for an extra rinse to ensure the soap has been washed from the clothes. If a washer fills with 14 gallons, then a redundant extra rinse is just going to add to that. A good option is to use the least amount of soap that you need to get your clothes clean; usually about 2 tablespoons up to a quarter cup for a large load. Remember, the soap manufacturers want you to use more soap than needed so you have to buy it more often, so be wary of their recommendations. 

Water consumption is vital with washers, but what about energy consumption? What can be done about that? For the most part, washers' energy consumption is surprisingly really low. The biggest energy usage from the machine comes from heating the water that you use on a warm or hot cycle. The motor and other electrical devices actually use very little energy. The best way to make sure you’re not over using hot water is to become familiar with what stains are removed with what water temperature. Most people default to warm water in their washer, which is OK but not efficient at all. Instead, use the correct water temp. For instance, blood, water based paint, food items and toothpaste are removed easily with cold water. Lipstick, grass, oil and grease are all stains that are removed with hot water. Knowing how stains work and what water temperature to use can really help you from using hot water when you don’t need to. 

Dryers: Decoding Drying Efficiency


  1. Check your lint filter every cycle.
  2. Inspect the airflow leaving your dryer vent often.
  3. Make sure your clothes are leaving the washer with most of the water spun out.
  4. Do not overload your dryer.

Dryers, unlike their washing partner, use a ton of electricity. These units can easily increase your power bill $20 a month if you aren’t careful. Even dryers that tout being energy stars are still very high on the energy consumption scale. The heating element takes 240 volts to operate, which is double the power that most of your other household appliances use; 120 volts. Knowing this, we have to be very careful to check certain things often so it works optimally. The first and probably most obvious thing to do is to check the lint filter every time you use the dryer. On top of protecting you from an unwanted lint fire, cleaning the lint filter often will allow proper airflow, heating and drying. If your filter is filled with lint, air is not passing across the heater efficiently and is not drying your clothes as fast as it should. Another part of this lint system is the aluminum tubing that is behind your dryer. This tube attaches to your house, which runs a duct to the outside to blow the moisture out of the dryer. Since it’s passing wet air through this tube, lint sticks to the walls eventually clogging this duct. When this duct gets clogged, your dry times are most likely going to double or triple, and so is your energy consumption. If you’re experiencing longer than necessary dry times, find the exhaust around your house perimeter. If you discover no or low air flow you’re going to want to hire a professional to come out and clean your vent.

Airflow is essential, but how you’re loading your dryer is equally significant. When you’re pulling your clothes out of your washer, make sure they aren’t sopping wet. For the most part, you shouldn’t be able to wring any water from your clothes when they exit the washer. If you can wring water out, throw your clothes in for a second spin. This will help get the rest of the water out. If you keep getting really wet clothes, your washer might be having an issue. The last thing to ensure when loading your dryer is to make sure you aren’t over loading it with clothes. If you have too many clothes in your dryer, they can’t tumble correctly, hot air can’t get between them and your clothes are going to take much longer to dry. Your jeans are going to have wet pockets, your shirts are still going to be damp and you’re just going to have to run it a second time. Instead, let's make sure we’re doing correct load sizes in our washer, which will ensure that our dryer is being loaded correctly. 

Refrigerators: Unveiling Cooling Efficiency


  1. Check the condenser coil for lint and dirt often.
  2. Don’t have it pushed too far up against the back or side walls.
  3. Be careful of air vents and do not overload.
  4. Check the temperature setting you have it set to.

Refrigerators are one of the most valued appliances we have in our homes. They also use quite a bit of electricity because they run most of the time. Did you know that your refrigerator runs about 75% of the day? It seems very inefficient but due to modern advancements, compressors and other electrical devices use far less electricity than they did in the 70’s-90’s. However, there are a few things we can do to make sure this unit isn’t running 90% of the day. One of the biggest factors to ensuring your refrigerators optimal performance is to make sure the refrigerant cooling system is operating correctly. That seems like a lot to take in but it’s been designed for you, the consumer, to do yourself. The cooling system is made up of a coil in the front of the unit and a fan to blow cold air across it. If you have lint build up or the unit is pushed too far up against the back or side walls, the air flow can not cool the condenser. At least once a year, you should be vacuuming your coil in front of the unit. Remove the plastic grill from the front and use a vacuum extension to get in there and clean it up for optimal air flow. If you see your refrigerator is pushed too far back, carefully give it an inch or 2 to breath. It doesn’t take much, but that little space can really get air moving around your area.

Although airflow outside the unit is very important, air flow inside the unit is equally as important. There are several air vents located at the top and bottom of the freezer and fresh food sections. If these vents get covered with food because of your loading or because it is overloaded, you are not going to get the air flow needed to cool the unit properly. When this happens, the compressor is going to run continuously to try and get it down to the right temperature. If you are finding defrosted or soft frozen items often inside your freezer, the best thing to do is take everything out, throw out the bad things (we all have them) and reload it taking these vents into consideration. 

A Path to Energy-Efficient Living

As we conclude our journey through this world of energy-saving mastery, remember that small changes can yield significant results. By implementing the tips we've shared for your appliances, you're not just trimming down your energy bills, but also reducing your carbon footprint one smart decision at a time. By embracing the tips shared here – from maintaining a spotless coil to mastering the art of optimal loading, from choosing the right water level to harnessing water temperatures for stubborn stains, and from vigilant lint screen cleaning to mindful management of exhaust air flow – you're on a path to not only conserve energy and cut down bills, but also contribute to a more sustainable planet.

But, we don’t end here. Check in with us next time as I continue to help you wade through appliance myths and become an expert in a field where everyone could stand to know a little more. 


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