We have more appliances in our homes than ever before.
Kitchen appliances alone can account for over 25% of total household electrical use. Appliance manufacturers continue to research and develop more energy efficient models. With the savings from your utility bill, it may be cheaper to replace an extremely inefficient appliance with a new, energy efficient model.
If you need to replace your appliances, at a minimum standard, Energy Star qualified appliances should be considered. EnergyStar qualified freezers, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and air conditioners use 10-50% less water and electricity than standard models. Please remember, there will be appliances that far surpass the requirements and some that just barely qualify.
To make a more informed decision, pay particular attention to the yellow EnergyGuide label, required by the Federal Trade Commission on all refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers. It will provide estimated annual energy consumption, and estimated annual energy costs. That’s very valuable information to weigh against the upfront cost of the unit.
And remember, when you upgrade that old appliance, don’t throw it away, recycle it.
Here are some tips that will help reduce your utility bills no matter the age or efficiency of the appliance:
- Run only full loads in clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers
- Wash clothes in cold water: Modern detergents and washers will get them just as clean.
- Clean the dryer lint filter between loads, it’ll “breathe” easier and dry faster.
- Use a solar clothes dryer: You know, a clothesline. A little fresh air will do your clothes good.
- Eliminate the dishwasher heated-dry cycle: Why waste energy? Air-dry them for free.
- Clean refrigerator coils every six months: A little work, but big results.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer full: If you have empty space, fill it up with jugs of water. It will operate much more efficiently.
- Eliminate that second refrigerator: A refrigerator can be the biggest energy-using appliance in the home, an old one even worse. Do you really need it?