Use these tips to get the most out of your appliances by making them run efficiently and reducing energy waste:

Refrigerators and Freezers

  • Make sure the door seals are tight. If you can slip a piece of paper between the door frame and the gasket, you’ve got a leak.
  • Set your fridge to between 35°F and 38°F and your freezer to 3°F.
  • Don’t let the refrigerator door stay open for long periods of time. Get in and out quickly to keep the cold air inside.

Clothes Dryers

Clothes Washer Dial

  • Put your dryer in a warm space — avoid cold garages. The dryer has to work that much harder in cold environments to warm up and dry your clothes.
  • Clean the lint filter after every load. The improved air circulation will help the machine run more efficiently.
  • Dry in full loads, but don’t overload.
  • Use the auto-dry setting.
  • Reduce or eliminate drying time by line drying as many items as you can.

Washing Machines

  • Only wash full loads.
  • Don’t use too much detergent.
  • Wash in cold water as often as possible and use hot water only for very dirty loads. A lot of the energy used by washing machines is from heating water.

Dish Washers

  • Run full loads only.
  • Choose the air dry vs. heat-dry setting.


  • Allow your oven to multi-task—bake several items at once and stagger the items to make sure air can flow through the oven.
  • Use glass and ceramic pans — they allow you to reduce the heat by 25 degrees while cooking just as well.
Lesson Plans
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Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, Lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!