If you’re looking for one more way to slow water consumption, save energy, and save money, consider buying a new refrigerator, dishwasher, or clothes washer. The environmental benefits are immediate, and you’ll earn your investment back in a few years. And your home will just be more efficient.
Why is making the switch important? Because saving energy prevents pollution. When you choose Energy Star-rated products, you help prevent global warming and promote cleaner air, without sacrificing product quality and performance. And, of course, all the money you’ll be saving through rebates, Oregon tax credits, and federal incentives now available to most homeowners.
Although Smart technology is all the rage when it comes to household appliances, the advances in energy efficiency should really be getting the attention. Making wholesale changes to your home could get pretty expensive pretty fast. But if your washing machine is a decade or more old, now might be a good time to start doing some research.
According to energystar.gov, there are approximately 26 million washing machines that are more than ten years old. They go on to state that these out of date machines are costing us $4.7 billion a year! If every laundry appliance were Energy Star rated, it would save us $3.3 billion annually – or around $185 per appliance.
With larger full loads that use fewer gallons of water, alter flow rate for better water efficiency, and conserve energy, improve efficiency by leaps and bounds. Not to mention your laundry feeling and looking better than it did with the older appliances.
Other steps, like not over-filling each appliance or constantly cleaning the lint trap will keep the laundry machines from having to work harder than they need to. Trying to wash/dry more clothes than recommended will actually cost you more energy in the long run.
Unlike laundry appliances, refrigerators must use energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Luckily, this appliance doesn’t make too much of an impact on your energy bill. In addition to energy-saving or WaterSense labeled appliances, there are other ways to reduce their economic impact as well.
Using the toaster oven or microwave instead of the oven when you can save energy. Adding faucet aerators will decrease the amount of overall water use – and don’t keep the water running if you don’t have to! Keep milk and other daily products at the front of the fridge and use the “no heat” setting on your dishwasher.
Simple steps like these can save water, make your kitchen more efficient, and make you money over the long haul. Avoid power strips too – if you need to use an appliance, don’t overload a single outlet. In fact, most countertop appliances should be unplugged when not in use.
Other Household Appliances
We saved the best – or most expensive – for last. Your furnace, air-conditioning, and other heating and cooling appliances make up around 60 percent of your energy consumption. Most homes are built with ductwork for HVAC systems, but these are the least efficient way to deliver heat throughout the home.
If the furnace is in the basement, and it’s forced to heat the second floor, it won’t matter how energy efficient it is. Throw in old ducting that could be filled with debris or loosening joints, and they become even more inefficient. Mini-Split or ductless HVAC systems remove that waste entirely.
Geothermal systems use no energy for heating or cooling, using the environment (either in the earth or the atmosphere) to raise or lower fluid temps. The only electricity it uses is for the heat exchange, which transfers the heat from the liquid to the air. These systems are the cream of the crop but also cost up to four times as much as a traditional system.
Tankless water heaters remove the need to constantly heat water, saving a lot of energy. Hot water is created on demand and remains hot as long as you need it. Of course, a 45-minute shower won’t do any favors for your electrical costs.
Many energy savings can be achieved with minimal work on your part. Lighting makes up to 10 percent of your energy bill, so turn the lights off when leaving a room. On very hot days, make sure to close the blinds in the morning and open windows at night when temperatures drop. Even improving the pipes in your home can save money by eliminating joints or worn plumbing.
Interested in learning more about energy-saving appliances or how to make your home more efficient? Contact Meticulous Plumbing today. Whether it’s a whole-home repipe or just switching out a failing water heater, we have the experience to get the job done quickly, correctly, and safely.