Remember those jokey car ads? “If you don’t buy a car, how can I save you any money?” Sure, you’d save beaucoup on utilities with spiffy new kitchen appliances. Realistically, though, by postponing replacements, you will save an even bigger pile by lengthening the life and upgrading the efficiency of the ones you already own.
Locating a refrigerator or freezer in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area is half the energy battle, and the other half is vacuuming the condenser coil four times a year. Use a dollar bill to check the fit of the door gasket, and replace it if the bill is easy to remove. If your freezer does not self-defrost, don’t postpone beyond ¼” of frost. And, please ask yourself, do you really use that energy-sucking old fridge in the garage?
Reducing hot water temperatures certainly saves money, but can compromise dishwasher function; 120 degrees is a good trade-off temperature for cleaning and sanitizing dishes (or consult your manual). Check the food filter under the lower spray arm periodically to remove food debris, and use a needle to open clogged spray jets.
The life and energy efficiency of an appliance often depends on its use and abuse. By performing some simple maintenance, you can prolong the life span and actually save some big bucks.