The production of heat, along with cooling, generally results in the most intensive use of energy around the house. In fact, while there have been numerous advances in terms of energy efficiency in a wide variety of household appliances, the two product categories with the sole function of generating heat, ranges and clothes dryers, still use about the same amount of energy today as they always have. This lack of improvement in terms of energy efficiency, combined with similar energy consumption levels between models are the primary reasons that the ENERGY STAR program doesn’t provide certifications on either of these product categories.
That being said, there are a number of ways that you can save money on your utility bills by using less heat. These measures include:
* Stop preheating your oven – Today’s ovens heat to their temperature settings quickly, which eliminates the need for pre-heating the vast majority of dishes that are baked or roasted. If you’re currently using your oven 5 days per week and preheating it for an average of 15 minutes for each use, eliminating the preheating step can reduce the time your oven generates heat by over 62 hours per year.
* Air dry your dishes – Air drying is commonly included as a cycle option on new dishwashers, but if yours doesn’t have that option, stop the machine after the rinse cycle is completed and crack the door open. This can reduce the cost per load by about 15 percent.
* Stop defaulting to hot water cycles with your washing machine – Much like preheating the oven, hot water cycles for many people are just the way things have always been done. Advances in the methodology of washing clothes as well as detergents now provide hot water results using cold water cycles, which reduces energy consumption per load by 90 percent. The exception to the rule here is that oil-based stains may still require hot water for full dissolution.
* Use the high speed spin cycle on almost every wash cycle – Your delicates may be the exception, but almost every other material can be run through a high speed spin cycle, which can remove enough moisture to reduce the time in the dryer by up to 50 percent.
Cutting down on generating heat can save money on your utility bills. Reducing heat that is generated in the house may also reduce demand on your air conditioning system which can add to your savings.