In a world filled with sustainable living ideas, it is difficult to think past recycle bins of bottles and cans. Why not live a green lifestyle and actually see some green growing in your pocket, too? This month, make an effort to break old habits and take a step away from energy-waste to energy-smart.

Follow these simple tips from our partners at Mr. Appliance Corp. to make your appliances not only benefit planet earth, but also your pocketbook.

Open the Door to More Savings

* Give your refrigerator some breathing room by keeping the appliance at least two or three inches away from the wall. Also, place your refrigerator away from direct sunlight and appliances that produce heat to make your refrigerator run more efficiently.

* Do you crave a midnight snack, but can’t decide what to eat? Keep your fridge full, not only to satisfy all of your midnight munchies, but also to help the fridge save energy after recovery from the door being open.

* Check and care for the rubber seals surrounding the inside of your fridge by using mild soap twice a year to help prevent cracked and torn seals. Use your money to test the seals by placing a dollar bill halfway inside the refrigerator door. If the dollar pulls out easily, then your losing money in more than one way and it may be time to replace the rubber seals.

* Enjoy a night of leftovers and defrost your fridge regularly. The frost build-up wastes energy by making the compressor run longer.

Keep the Heat Inside of Your Oven and Out of Your Pocket

* If you notice your food cooking unevenly or it is taking longer than before, it may be time to replace cracked or torn door seals that can allow up to 20% of heat to escape.

* When cooking up your favorite meal, turn off electric burners two to three minutes before you finish cooking and let the residual heat sauté the rest to perfection.

* Save yourself a step by planning out your cooking schedule to only bake in the oven instead of preheating. Sometimes there is no need to preheat if the food requires more than an hour in the oven.

* When tidying up your kitchen don’t forget about your electric and gas burners. Clean burners allow for a more efficient use of energy.

Wash, Dry and Ring out the Best Savings For Your Wallet

* Use the high-speed cycle to toss out more moisture from your clothes, which allows for less time in the dryer and more time for you to spend your money saved.

* It’s okay to air out your laundry, just make sure it is clean. Line-dry your clothes as much as possible, and you can see up to 5% saving on your energy costs.

* Clean your dryer lint screen after every use. Dryer efficiency decreases as lint collects over time. More importantly, lint build-up can be a fire hazard, so make sure to have it cleaned periodically by a professional.

* Refresh your clothes by washing a load in cold water. This saves on energy costs and helps lengthen the life of your clothes by preserving the color and the fabric.

Clean Plate, Clean Mind

* Save up to 20 gallons of water by hand -scraping your dishes, instead of running water for your pre-rinse.

* Give your dishes a breath of fresh air by turning your dishwasher setting to air-dry or open the dishwasher after the rinse cycle.

* Hold off on washing you dishes until you have a full load. Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water per cycle, so fill it up with all of your hand-scraped plates.

* Give your dishwasher a wash of its own by running an empty cycle with a citric acid-based cleaner. The cleaner will remove soap and calcium build-up that makes your dishwasher worker harder than it has to.

Follow these do-it-yourself energy efficient tips periodically by adding them to your family calendar. To help prolong the life of your appliances, combine these tips with regular visits from your local appliance repair professional.

Through the use of simple maintenance tasks you can extend the life of your appliances, your bank account and most importantly, our planet.

This article is courtesy of our partners, Mr. Appliance. See the original article on greening your kitchen for Earth Day on the Mr. Appliance blog.

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