Appliances and Office Equipment

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Appliances and Office Equipment

Home appliances and office equipment can be some of the biggest energy users in your home. Try these quick tips to reduce their energy use.



  • Use the right tool for the job. Using your oven may not always be necessary. Smaller appliances like crockpots, toaster ovens or microwaves can get the job done for less energy. 
  • Keep pots and pans covered. Use the smallest pot or pan and match the pan to the element size to waste less energy. 
  • Thaw food in the fridge instead of the microwave.


  • Use energy saving wash cycles. 
  • Don't pre-rinse dishes. Most modern dishwashers don't require it. 
  • Wash only full loads. The dishwasher will use the same amount of water if half empty or completely full.

Washers and dryers

  • Wash and rinse your clothes in cold water.
  • Dry full loads. 
  • Clean the lint trap after each load.

Switch to Cold Water

If you wash your clothes with warm water and rinse them with cold water, simply switching to cold water on all your cycles could save you $4 a month or $52 a year. If you wash and rinse with warm water, your savings could double.

Since 80-90 per cent of the energy needed to do the wash is used to heat the water, you can save both energy and money by switching your washing machine dial to cold.

Refrigerators and freezers

  • Check the temperature. Fridges should be 4° C (39° F). Freezers should be -18° C (0° F). 
  • Check seals to see if they are in good repair and doing their job. 
  • Chest or top-loading freezers are about 25 per cent more efficient than upright freezers. 
  • Remove or unplug unnecessary refrigerators and freezers. Defrost regularly.
  • View more information on getting the most out of your fridge or freezer.

Power Bars

  • Use a power bar with an integrated timer to shut off all your devices at the end of the day, or unplug your electronics when you're away from home for an extended period of time. Many electronic devices continue to use power even when they’re turned off.

Energy Star

Look for the ENERGY STAR™ label when choosing new home appliances and office equipment. ENERGY STAR™ tells you if an appliance is power smart, and by using less energy to do the same job, ENERGY STAR™ appliances save you money. If you're unsure about the power management features of a particular product, ask the retailer if the one you’re considering qualifies as an ENERGY STAR™ rated product.

You'll also want to look at the EnerGuide labeling on most major appliances. Created by Natural Resources Canada, EnerGuide is an appliance rating system that allows you to compare the energy consumption of different appliances within the same category.

Home Office Equipment

Today's home office equipment has many energy saving features to help you conserve energy and save money.  Products with energy efficiency features generate up to 25 per cent less heat and are also quieterAs with all home appliances, if you're buying new equipment look for the ENERGY STAR™ mark to help you make energy efficient choices.

You can also save energy by turning off your equipment when it’s not in use. This will help reduce energy consumption and your home office equipment will last up to 10 times longer.


  • Turn your computer off when not in use. Most experts agree that turning your computer on and off will have no significant effect on its operation or life. 
  • If you must leave your computer on, turn off your display device or monitor. Monitors use a significant amount of energy. Monitors with larger displays, more colour, and higher resolution use even more. 
  • Use a laptop. A typical laptop computer has a maximum power consumption of 15 watts, and extensive power management capabilities. A typical desktop PC, with display, consumes about 10 times that or 150 watts, and has limited power management features. By substituting PCs with portable laptops, you can save up to 90 percent of the energy you'd typically use.


  • Turn printers off when not in use. 
  • Laser printers consume a great deal of energy. Try an ink-jet printer. They are less expensive and use far less energy. 
  • Select a printer with energy saving capabilities. Printers with an automatic "power down" feature can reduce electricity use by over 65 per cent.

Fax Machines

  • Select a fax machine with energy saving capabilities. Fax machines are generally turned on 24-hours a day, but they are actually in use only about 5 percent of that time. Fax machines with power management features can reduce energy costs by almost 50 percent. 
  • Use stick-on labels on the first page of your fax. Not only will this reduce the energy use of the fax machine, but it will also save paper and telephone charges. 
  • Consider a plain paper fax machine. Faxes printed on thermal paper are often copied onto plain paper, which requires more energy. In addition, thermal paper costs about five times more. This price difference can make up for the increased cost of a plain paper fax machine in less than a year.


  • Turn your copier off when not in use, and consider installing a plug-in timer to automatically turn the machine on and off. 
  • Choose a copier that's the right size for your needs. The energy use of a copier is directly related to copy volume capacity. 
  • Be sure your copier's energy-saving features are turned on.