Energy Efficient Appliances
Outside of paying rent or mortgage payments, one of the most expensive monthly payments comes from a high energy bill. Your energy bill is largely determined by the number of products you have running in your home. Some appliances use much more energy. For example, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners are known for using more energy than televisions or computers. The amount of energy used greatly varies depending on the type of product as well, so certain refrigerator brands do not consume as much energy as other types.
If you are upset with your energy bill, and do not qualify for any energy assistance programs, the best way to lower your bill is choosing more energy efficient products. Energy Star is typically the brand of choice for energy efficient products. In addition to searching for Energy Star products, there are a few other ways to pick the right appliance.
Energy Efficient Refrigerators
If you can only make one change to your kitchen, consider getting a more energy efficient refrigerator. Refrigerators consume a great deal of energy. Unlike other appliances, you are required to leave your refrigerator running all day, since you need to keep your food consistently cooled. Energy Star refrigerators are naturally more energy efficient than other brands, but there are a few other ways you can save money when choosing a refrigerator.
The first is to avoid a refrigerator with an automatic ice dispenser. Dispensers require more energy to operate, especially if it is located on front of the refrigerator. Getting a combination refrigerator freezer is recommended, but for the best results, prioritize freezers on the top. This uses less energy than refrigerators located on the bottom or side.
Finally, the overall size of your refrigerator makes a big difference on energy. For most households, a 16 to 20 cubic foot fridge offers enough space to store food. These fridges are available in both 12- or 24-volt DC or 110- and 220-volt AC models. RF-16 refrigerators are some of the most efficient brands, and are even compatible with solar power systems.
Energy Efficient Oven
Another potential energy sink is your oven. As of writing, there are no Energy Star ovens available, making shopping for an energy efficient oven trickier. In general, there are also fewer designs to reduce how much energy your oven uses. Samsung has an excellent electric flex duo oven, designed to reduce your energy use. The oven has two separate compartments, one large and small. It takes significantly less energy to heat up the smaller section. The oven is on the pricier side, but you can sign up for Samsung financing to get on a payment plan. As of writing, there is no interest for the first 18 months.
Energy Efficient Washing Machine
There are other rooms you can use energy efficient applies. Energy Star offers several different types of washing machines, but currently, the best is the Maytag front load washer with steam for stains and a PowerWash system. There are two reasons it is considered an excellent, energy efficient product. The first is the option to use cold wash, which consumes much less energy than using hot water. The second is the rapid wash cycle, which drastically cuts down on how long your washer runs for.
Energy Efficient Dishwashers
One of the most appealing features of dishwashers is their longevity. Even the older dishwasher models were designed to last for around 20 or 30 years. As a result, most homes are using older, less efficient dishwashers. It may seem like it is more expensive to purchase a new dishwasher, but you will quickly save money with your reduced energy bill.
The exact amount you save depends on how old your existing dishwasher is. For example, dishwashers made in the early 2000’s frequently use 10 extra gallons of water during each wash cycle, leading to thousand of wasted gallons over the course of a year. Newer dishwashers also feature advance features, which also help conserve energy. For example, many new dishwashers have a soil sensor. This feature allows the dishwasher to scan how dirty the dishes are and use an appropriate amount of water and how much power is used.
In the warm weather, your first instinct may be to turn on the air conditioner. While this helps to cool the house, it is expensive to run for long periods. One alternative to air conditioners is a heat pump. Despite the name, heat pumps are capable of both producing heat and cooling your home. Heat pumps remove humidity from the air, which naturally decreases the temperature in the room. During the winter, they can generate a fair amount of heat, not enough to warm the entire house, but they can keep a room quite comfortable. During the winter, using a heat pump may lower your electricity usage by as much as 50 percent, greatly reducing your energy bill.