Smart tips for purchasing new home appliances
Going green in your home can actually put money in your pocket. Excluding heating and cooling, your household appliances likely account for almost a third of your home’s energy consumption. Green home products can save you money, while also helping the planet.
Energy-efficient devices and green products for the home often seem more expensive. But despite a higher purchase price, you’ll soon be making a lot of that money back since eco-friendly appliances use up to 30 percent less energy. What’s more, green home appliances are usually better designed: Stoves heat up faster, clothes washers hold more, and dryers operate more efficiently, all adding up to further savings.
Of all your household appliances, your refrigerator is potentially the most power hungry. An older model can burn through as much as $300 in electricity each year. Buying the smallest model that suits your food storage needs is a good first step. Look for models with the freezer on the top or bottom. These use 13 to 16 percent less energy than side-by-side models. Icemakers and cold water dispensers are handy, but give them a pass and you’ll cut energy use by 13 to 20 percent. Many models now come with an “anti-sweat” heater to eliminate moisture on the exterior, but that will add 5 to 10 percent to the energy consumption. Go greener with a model that lets you turn off the heater or doesn’t need one thanks to automatic moisture control.
Dishwashers now come with a bevy of features. Find a model that gives you the option of using the heated drying function. Letting your dishes air dry can save you plenty, and in the wintertime, opening the dishwasher door releases warm air that will humidify your home. On the other hand, an internal water heater will let you boost the water temperature when needed. This also allows you to turn down the temperature on your home’s water heater for further energy savings. Finally, look for a model that uses less water. The most efficient of these green home products may reduce water consumption by 1,000 gallons a year, cutting electricity usage by up to 25 percent.
Front loading washers can save you money in various ways. They use less water and less energy. Front loaders also use a lot less detergent, meaning less soap going into the water supply. And because they are gentler, your clothes will last longer.
According to the Department of Energy, approximately 14 percent of your energy costs come courtesy of your water heater.
According to the Department of Energy, some 14 percent of your energy costs come courtesy of your water heater. And a good portion of that money may be going right down the drain. Traditional water heaters fill to capacity and heat the whole tank—but your household may only need a sink full. Avoid this waste with a tankless water heater, which heats water on demand. Don’t worry about not having enough hot water for a busy family. A gas-fired tankless system can churn out five gallons a minute. Electric tankless water heaters will cost between 10 and 20 percent less a year to operate than a tank-based heater, according to the National Association of Home Builder.
Choose a model with a moisture sensor, which will shut the machine off when your clothes are dry. Not only does this save electricity, it also spares your clothes and linens from unneeded and destructive overheating. The most efficient of these green products for your home will have a sensor right inside the drum. Other dryers measure the temperature of the exhaust air to gauge when the load is dry, which isn’t as effective.
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