How To Save With Energy Efficient Appliances
Looking for ways to make your day-to-day habits more sustainable? One specific way to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home eco-friendlier is by switching to energy efficient appliances.
Energy efficient appliances are a great way to make a positive impact on our planet without having to change the way you live your life. If the idea of being more environmentally conscious isn’t tempting enough, consider how making your home more energy efficient can account for major financial savings.
Read on to find out how you can put some cash back in your pocket while helping build a better, brighter future for our planet.
How Home Appliances Contribute To Energy Consumption
Home appliances account for a major portion of your day-to-day energy use and expenses. In 2015, water heating, refrigeration and lighting accounted for 27% of yearly home energy use. But appliances aren’t the only contributing factor to your at-home energy consumption: age, size and style of your home, as well as geographic location and the number of people that live in your household play a role, too.
What Is An ENERGY STAR Label?
ENERGY STAR is a program run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the goal of promoting increased energy efficiency for consumers and businesses. Whether in a commercial or on your own washing machine, you’ve probably seen their iconic blue square symbol before.
Each qualifying household appliance and feature has a set of criteria, like water and wattage use (determined by the EPA) that must be met before receiving an ENERGY STAR label—so if you see the blue star on one of your appliances, you know it was well earned!
The Types Of Energy Efficient Appliances Available
Chances are that if an appliance exists in your home, there’s probably a more energy efficient counterpart available. There are countless appliances––both big and small––for you to take steps toward a greener, energy efficient home.
When’s the last time you considered the life span of your kitchen refrigerator? Energy Star estimates that of the 190 million refrigerators in US homes, more than 69 million are more than ten years old.
Potential impact: Making the choice to recycle (yes, recycle!) your outdated refrigerator and purchase a more energy efficient model can save you more than $200 over its 12-year life. If every home in the United States had an energy efficient refrigerator, we’d be able to prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Potential impact: A standard ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water in its lifetime. It will also cut down substantially on environmental pollutants generated by energy use.
Conserving water, reducing pollution, AND minimizing energy expenses? Sounds like a win-win-WIN.
Washers And Dryers
Washing Machine Potential impact: Energy efficient washing machines come loaded with perks. In addition to using 25% less energy and 33% less water than a traditional washer, they also boast more a streamlined design to help you get the most out of each laundry day. And newer models have greater tub capacities (and a bigger tub means fewer loads).
Plus, most ENERGY STAR-certified washing machines don’t have a central agitator and instead gently tumble clothes through a small amount of water, making it possible to prolong the life of your favorite, 10-year-old concert t-shirt.
Electric Dryer Potential impact: Energy efficient dryers use 20% less energy than traditional models by coming equipped with sensor drying technology which shuts the dryer off once your clothes are dry. Can’t justify the cost of both an energy efficient washer and an energy efficient dryer? Switching to an updated washer will save you enough money over its lifetime to pay for the dryer.
And once you’ve upgraded to more energy efficient laundry appliances, why stop there? There are also small, more budget-friendly changes you can make to ensure your laundry practices are more sustainable. Consider swapping out your dryer sheets for a less-wasteful alternative such as felt dryer balls, swap your laundry detergent for a zero-waste one or challenge yourself to go longer between loads of laundry each week.
Potential impact: While they may not be a shiny new appliance, energy efficient windows are another great home feature that can reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on your house bills. If your windows are in need of replacement, you can opt for modern window types that come customized for your home’s climate.
If your windows are in good shape but you’re still looking to make a change, consider upgrading your window treatments, adding solar control film, or installing exterior shade with awnings and overhangs to help keep your house cool during warmer months.
Cooling And Heating Systems
There are several small, convenient changes (like thermostat adjustments) you can make to your everyday routine to get more mileage out of your cooling and heating system.
But if you’re looking to make a larger change, consider hiring a professional to install a geothermal heating system for your home. Geothermal heat pumps collect heat from the sun or water stored in the earth and uses it to heat your home. If you live in a warmer climate, especially if you use air conditioning year-round, try making the switch to an energy efficient central air conditioner.
Potential impact: New energy efficient air conditioning models use 8% less energy than traditional ones, which means you’ll be saving money while staying cool. If you upgrade to a geothermal energy system, the EPA estimates you’ll save 30-70% on heating costs per year. Not too bad!
The great thing about upgrading to energy efficient is that there are a lot of different lighting options depending on your budget. If you’re looking to take a more affordable approach, consider swapping your homes’ standard light bulbs for ENERGY STAR-certified ones.
For a more comprehensive approach, you may decide to upgrade your traditional light fixtures to energy efficient ones. While likely a larger up-front expense than just replacing your light bulbs, making the switch is a great way to further reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the long run.
Potential impact: One energy efficient lightbulb lasts around 15 times longer than a standard bulb and saves about $50 in electricity expenses in its lifetime! Think about how many light bulbs are in your home – that environmental impact can add up quickly. And if you make the switch to energy efficient light fixtures, they use an impressive 90% less energy than their traditional counterparts.
Evaluating The Cost (And Savings) Of Energy Efficient Appliances
While just about every energy efficient home upgrade will come with an upfront cost, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars in the long run. And keep in mind, you can make these changes in small budget-friendly doses over time.
Making your home more environmentally friendly is a long-term investment but can pay off significantly – both in your monthly bills and in the resale value of your home.
Ready to take the next step toward a greener, more energy efficient home?
Don’t let the upfront costs and efforts intimidate you. A home improvement loan from Rocket Loans can help! Our simple and Rocket-fast process means you can get the money you need, right when you need it. Get started and apply for a home improvement loan today.
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