Are Energy Efficient Appliances Worth It?

energy efficient appliances

Electrical appliances account for over 30% of the energy bills charges you receive on a monthly or annual basis.

Many home appliances manufacturers have shifted their focus into saving energy.

Therefore,

they have invested in producing energy-efficient appliances.

These appliances include; refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters, lighting, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, and other electrical items used at home or workplaces.

These items are used for purposes such as cooking, laundry, and making the home a comfortable place. 

The average U.S. household spends $2,200 per year on energy – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling, according to Energy Star and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Here is a breakdown of the rest, 14% goes to heating water, 12% to lighting and 13% to appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

If you replace a 3-year-old dishwasher with a new, energy-efficient model, and you’re not likely to see significant savings because it represents such a small portion of your overall energy usage. 

But on the other hand,

if you’re replacing a major appliance that’s at least twelve years old, you will realize some serious savings.

FYI: a new energy-efficient refrigerator will use less than half the energy of a model that’s more than 12 years old. Wow!

Also,

by purchasing major appliances that are efficient with water and energy your impact on the environment is significantly reduced.

From research,

it has been discovered that we can reduce our carbon footprint by 3,600 pounds by purchasing an energy star refrigerator over five years’ time.

*Recycle your fridge, too, that way you keep the refrigerant and insulating foam out of landfills.

What is energy efficiency?

electrical equipment

Energy-efficiency is minimizing the use of energy without losing any quality.

To better understand this,

imagine yourself trying to move a big washing machine all by yourself.

First,

you can decide just to lift it and walk it over to its destination,...

...but you will be absolutely exhausted.

On the other hand,

you could place the washing machine in a wheelbarrow and move it effortlessly (and with no broken bones).

No matter what- the result is the same—the washing machine is taken to its destination. What’s different is that the latter method involves less energy, and you won’t be exhausted and gasping to breathe.

Energy-efficiency performances put that same rule to work with your various utilities. You tend to get equal value and dependability as a more established item, but it uses less energy which is a big advantage.

Read labels

kitchen appliances

When shopping for new appliances,

remember that those carrying the “Energy Star” label are the most energy-efficient in any product category, exceeding federally established energy-efficiency minimums.

But don’t confuse the “Energy Star” label with the “EnergyGuide” label,

which all new appliances must carry.

*The EnergyGuide label allows you to compare the typical annual energy consumption and operating costs of different models of appliances...

...but it doesn’t indicate the one you’re looking at is necessarily among the most energy-efficient.

Size matters

Modenr kitchen

Make an effort to buy appliances that suit your needs – no bigger and no smaller. *Oversized air conditioners, water heaters and refrigerators waste both energy and money.

Air conditioners: When shopping for an air conditioner, know the square footage of the space you’re trying to cool. Likewise, water heater capacity will be based on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home.

Refrigerators: Refrigerator size is typically determined by the size of your family and how much cooking or entertaining you do.

A 14-cubic-foot model is generally adequate for a family of four, but a larger family will require a larger refrigerator.

If this fridge is a spare for beverages, you might consider a compact model (11-cubic-footer).

Generally,

larger refrigerators use more energy, but one large refrigerator will use less energy than two smaller ones with the same total volume.

Dishwashers: When it comes to dishwashers, consider buying one with a “light wash” or “energy-saving” cycle. This option uses less water and operates for a shorter period of time for dishes that are slightly dirty. 

Washing machine:  A smaller washer may be more efficient for small households, but if you end up doing multiple loads in a washer that’s too small for your needs,...

...you’ll cancel out any possible energy savings.

Shop for a washer with adjustable water levels, so you can use less water to wash smaller loads.

*Also be on the lookout for a washer with a faster spin speed; this allows more water to be removed after the wash, which reduces the drying time.

Be patient

While most energy-efficient appliances cost more than their less-efficient counterparts, the small amount they’ll save you monthly in lower utility bills will eventually add up.

For example:

By replacing a pre-1994 washer with a new Energy Saver model, the average family of four can save about $110 per year on utility bills.

Consider that most major appliances are expected to last 10 to 20 years. So, you will see that over time, that money comes back to you in energy cost savings. 

In the corner of your living room,

you have an incandescent light bulb, and in another corner, you have a LED light bulb. They both produce the same amount of light. 

The thing that sets both apart is their upfront costs at face value. The LED bulb will be a bit more expensive than the incandescent bulb.

However,

that LED bulb only needs 10 watts of electricity to function, as opposed to the 60 watts needed by the incandescent bulb.

So generally, the LED bulb is using less power.

This simply means your monthly electric bill for the same amount of light will be about six times less because of the LED bulb.

The savings don’t end there, either. The LED bulb is going likely to last 25 times longer than the incandescent bulb. If you compare the cost of 1 LED light to 25 regular bulbs- you begin to see why it makes sense. 

Energy-efficiency conserves energy consumption, lowers your utility bills, and creates an energy-efficient home, which helps our entire planet!

 

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