Save Energy Dollars Around Your Home
Have you ever stopped to consider how much money you spend to operate your home’s major appliances? According to the EPA, American households spend almost $1,000 each year on appliance usage. So when it’s time to purchase a new appliance, look for the Energy Star® label, designating products that are built to save energy. Not only will energyefficient appliances decrease your utility bills, but when used properly, you’ll also reduce your personal impact on the environment.
Refrigerators:Refrigerators last an average of 13 years. High-efficiency models can consume up to 40% less energy, with a potential to save at least $150 over a year of use. And did you know there are refrigerators on the market that use less energy to operate than a 60-watt light bulb? Some best practices are to keep your refrigerator set at 35–38°F, allow air to circulate behind it, and keep it full so it won’t lose as much coolness when the door is open.
Dishwashers: On average, dishwashers last about 9–13 years. If you’re using a high-efficiency dishwasher over this time period, you’ll use half as much water and 40% less electricity, which can equal a big cost savings! Run full loads whenever possible to save water and energy. Clean out the food trap and periodically run a maintenance load with 1 c. of vinegar and then again with 1 c. of baking soda to ensure dishes come out sparkling every time.
Ranges & Ovens: The lifespan of an electric range is about 13–15 years and a gas range will last around 15–17 years. If you have a high-efficiency induction range you’ll use less energy because it heats cookware much faster and doesn’t allow as much heat to escape. Regularly cleaning the cooktop and the oven will help extend its lifespan.
HVAC Systems:If your HVAC system is more than 10–15 years old, you’re probably not getting the most efficiency for your energy dollars. A new high-efficiency system can save you money on operating costs.