Americans make up 5 percent of the world's population and use 26 percent of the total energy consumed on the planet. Ninety percent of residential energy consumed in America is due to household appliances, such as heating and cooling systems like air conditioners,[1] which can make up as much as half of a household energy bill.[2] Energy production and consumption increase CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Air conditioning: Don't lose your eco-cool

Air conditioners consume the most electricity of any appliance, accounting for 16 percent of residential electricity use.[3] Choosing an air conditioner that will use energy more efficiently can mean choosing an ENERGY STAR model or just choosing the right size air conditioner to meet your needs. (A window unit is less expensive to operate for cooling a single room, but is typically less efficient than central air conditioning for cooling the whole house.)[4] Learn more at GreenYour Air conditioning

Washing machine: New meaning for the term green washing

Since doing the laundry consumes both water and energy, one way to reduce how much of each of these resources is used in a home is to choose a more energy-efficient washing machine, such as ENERGY STAR or front-loading models. [5] Second only to the toilet, which consumes 28.7 percent of a home's total water, washing machines make up an average 21.7 percent of all household water usage.[6]
Learn more at GreenYour Washing machine

Dryer: Don't leave the earth out to dry

All dryers work similarly—by heating clothes while tumbling them—and therefore consume comparable amounts of energy.[7] In fact, because of the similarity between most dryers, ENERGY STAR doesn't label dryers at all.[8] However, since dryers are the second biggest energy users in the home[9] (refrigerators are first), and since they require a relatively significant amount of money to operate (approximately $1,500 over the life of the machine), dryer choice and use is important.[10]
Learn more at GreenYour Dryer

Refrigerator: An appetite for energy

Refrigerators are responsible for approximately 14 percent of a home's energy use, more than any other kitchen or cleaning appliance.[3] The average refrigerator in 2002 consumed 1,281 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year in electricity, which cost $102.[11] Models older than 1993 may cost even more in electricity because the first federal efficiency standards weren’t introduced until 1993.[12]
Learn more at GreenYour Refrigerator

Water heaters: Your home's eco-hot spot

Water heating accounts for roughly 15 to 25 percent of energy used in American homes,[13] making it the third largest source of residential energy consumption after HVAC and kitchen appliances.[14] Much of the energy expended on water heating in the home is used simply to maintain the heat level of water in conventional heaters while they are on “standby.”[13]
Learn more at GreenYour Water heater