The appliances in your home add a substantial amount to your energy usage and costs. If you are using older appliances, you could be adding more than 20 percent to your utility expenses. The good news is that you can lower those expenses by choosing the best energy efficient appliances for your home.
The first thing to understand is that age does matter. Technology has come a long way in recent years, so even a refrigerator that ‘s only ten years old and still running fine could be an energy hog. If you have appliances that are more than ten years old, you should strongly consider replacing them.
Understand the Labels
Appliances that meet the U. S. Department of Energy standards for energy efficiency are given an Energy Star rating. However, not all energy efficient appliances are equal. While you should look for the label, it ‘s also important to take time to read the label and understand the information. The label contains the following important information.
- What it will cost to run the appliance each year based on average use.
- An estimation of the kWh the appliance will use each year based on typical use.
- The full cost range you can expect to pay to operate the appliance.
Use this information to carefully review different models and choose the one that best suits your needs. Some appliances are more energy efficient than others, and you can use the Energy Star label to find one with the lowest available operating costs.
Purchase the Right Unit for Your Needs
Whether you are shopping for a new refrigerator or a dishwasher, you must choose one that will meet your needs. Larger appliances are appealing, but they cost more to operate.
If you are a single person or have a small family, a smaller refrigerator will be a better choice for your family, and it will cost less to operate. The same is also true for dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances.
Finding the Right Refrigerator
Refrigerators can drastically increase your home electric expense, so you want to choose one that is energy efficient. Today ‘s refrigerators are more energy efficient because they have better seals, superior insulation and more efficient compressors. However, there are other considerations that make some refrigerators more efficient than others.
In general, side-by-side refrigerator models are not very efficient. A top-freezer or bottom-freezer model is a better choice for reducing energy use.
- Features like ice makers, water dispensers and anti-sweat heaters are attractive, but they increase the energy requirements.
- Attractive features that make the unit more efficient include automatic moisture control and automatic defrost freezers.
- When looking at freezers, choose a chest freezer for the highest energy efficiency levels.
There are also steps you can take to reduce energy usage by making your refrigerator more efficient. Keep the unit away from potential heat sources like the oven and allow enough ventilation around it for the motor to effectively cool.
Never allow the frost to build up to more than a quarter-inch, and defrost manual freezers regularly to avoid this. Clean the coils every year, and make sure the seals and clean and airtight.
Tips for Dishwashers
Another energy hog that can waste water and power is your dishwasher, it could be costing you more than you think. As with refrigerators, it ‘s important to choose the right size for your family and needs.
Larger families will need a bigger dishwasher, but smaller families can save space and money by going with a smaller one. Choose a dishwasher that features clever options like short run times and energy saver cleaning modes.
When running your dishwasher, make it more efficient by washing full loads and air drying dishes rather than running the heated dry. These simple steps will help you use less energy when running the machine so you can save money.
Understanding Ranges and Ovens
You may think that all stoves are equal but there are countless options to consider. While they don ‘t run continuously like refrigerators, stoves can still pull an incredible amount of power. Use these tips when shopping to find the most energy efficient ranges and ovens available.
- Insist on a front window for the oven because you will save energy by not having to open the door to check on your food.
- Self-cleaning ovens are easy to clean, and they have more insulation than other models. This makes them more energy efficient.
- Gas ovens and ranges are more efficient in general than electric options.
- If you opt for gas, get one with an electric pilot light that will only come on when you are going to use the appliance.
- Glass-top stoves with halogen elements are more efficient than traditional coil elements.
- The most efficient cooktops are induction models that are incredibly energy efficient.
There are also steps you can take to make your oven more energy efficient and eco-friendly. If you have a self-cleaning oven, you should only use the self-cleaning feature when necessary. Clean the igniter on gas stoves regularly to ensure smooth operation. When boiling water, use lids to speed up the process.
Help with Washers and Dryers
Energy efficient washers that load from the front save more money on electricity and water however; you can also find top-loading machines with Energy Star labels that will suit your needs.
When doing laundry, you can reduce energy costs by washing full loads, adjusting the water down when running smaller loads and using cold water to wash everything except white clothes. An extended spin cycle is an attractive feature that will allow you to minimize drying time and save money.
When looking for new appliances, start by reading the Energy Star label. In addition to certain features, you also want an appliance that is properly sized to fit your needs and is affordable to operate. Once you have the appliance home, use all of these tips to reduce your expenses further and extend the life of your appliance. Happy energy efficiency hunting!
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