Cost: Low (less than $100)
Green Impact: 4 out of 5
Quick tune-ups for your home's biggest energy suckers can save more than a thousand pounds of carbon and a hundred dollars a year.
- Set the thermostat to 120 degrees instead of the standard 130 to 140 degrees.
- If the tank is warm to the touch, wrap it in an insulating blanket (sold at most home improvement stores).
- If it's an older model, vacuum the coils (usually located either in the back or underneath, behind a removable plate), and dislodge caked grease with a stiff brush.
- Keep the fridge at 36 to 38 degrees and the freezer at 3 degrees.
- Make sure the door seal is tight. If a dollar bill can slip through the rubber gasket, replace it.
- Remove clutter from the top of the fridge, and position it away from the stove or radiator.
- Dry loads in succession to take advantage of residual heat, and make sure loads are always full.
- Clean the lint trap after each load.