If you’re serious about making your home more energy efficient, starting with your appliances would be a good investment for future. In this article we will look at cooking, dishwashing, food storage, electronics, lighting and laundry.
When it comes to being energy efficient in the kitchen, the first thing you have to do is understand your cooking habits. Here are some questions to ask yourself. Do you dine out more than you eat in? When you do eat in, do you primarily use your stove and oven to make large meals? Or do you use your microwave to make smaller quick meals?
If you don’t cook much, then purchasing energy efficient kitchen appliances won’t save you much energy. As a matter of fact, it may cost you money if you purchase them and barely use them. But if you do purchase a major kitchen appliance, make sure it is energy efficient. And be sure to read reviews about the models you’re thinking of buying.
When using your dishwasher, more than half of the energy used is attributed to the heating of the water. If you have a newer dishwasher model, the amount of energy and water consumed has dropped significantly. But this can’t be said for older models.
Here is a breakdown by the numbers. Newer dishwasher models use no more than 5.0 gallons per cycle. ENERGY STAR models use no more than 4.25 gallons. Older models use between 8.0 and 14.0 gallons. The point is, the more water a dishwasher uses, the more energy it consumes.
If you have an older dishwasher and use it on a regular basis, now might be the time to consider purchasing a newer ENERGY STAR model.
Refrigerator / Freezer
How old is your current refrigerator? If it is over 15 years old, it is probably energy inefficient. Purchasing a newer energy efficient model today would most likely pay for itself in the first few years in energy savings.
If you can’t afford a newer model right now, make your older model more energy efficient by following the current tips: Make sure there is plenty of airflow around your fridge; Keep your fridge and freezer at least 2/3 full so that only 1/3 of the cold air will leak out when you open them; Clean your condenser coils 2-3 times per year; Defrost your freezer when the frost build-up reaches 1/4 inch; Don’t place uncovered food and liquids in your fridge; And when opening the fridge, practicing the following technique: peak, grab, close.
Electronic devices use about 10-15% of all electricity used in your home. Although individual devices don’t necessarily consume a lot of energy, the combination of them does. Besides purchasing energy efficient models like TVs, computers and laptops, you can also do the following to save money: Turn off or unplug devices when not in use.
Home lighting can cost the typical household between $75 and $200 per year in electricity. If you’re still using older light bulbs (incandescent), now is the time to make the switch to energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs and LEDs).
While they are a bit more expensive, they will save energy and last longer. And overall, this is the easiest, quickest and least expensive way to lower your monthly energy costs. As a matter of fact, compact fluorescent lights last approximately ten times longer than incandescent lights.
Washing machines and dryers have come a long way when it comes to energy efficiency. During the washing process, most of the energy consumed is used for heating the water. Newer models cut water and energy usage by half or more compared to older models.
Newer models have higher spin speeds that extract more water from each load. Therefore, this can save energy during the drying process.
To save more energy on both older and newer models, consider washing all your laundry in cold water instead of hot. Some detergent companies like Tide have cold water washing products thus eliminating the need for hot water cycles altogether.