Go Green

Green Appliances Stretch Household Budgets: Reduce Utility Costs With New Appliances

Converting a traditional home to one that is environmentally friendly is not as difficult as one may think. Depending on what improvements are sought, with the right information and directions, anyone can complete this transition. For more complicated installations, such as geothermal heating, professionals are available for hire.

Save on Energy Bills

Many products, such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators, now have an "Energy Star" rating. This rating shows an average annual amount of electricity and gas consumption per household. The government now provides tax credits for purchasing these appliances.

By investing in Energy Star rated appliances, the average homeowner can save up to 40% on their electricity and gas bills annually. Sites like Ready Research can help you in finding the right appliances that same energy.

Aside from purchasing new appliances, another surefire way to save on energy costs is to ensure all windows and doors are properly sealed. By installing thick weather stripping and heavy insulation, a home will lose less heat during fall and winter. In the summer, these precautions also reduce the amount air conditioners must run to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Tips to Reduce Energy Consumption

  • Have heating and cooling systems checked annually. Just like a car, heating and cooling units need a tune-up regularly to maintain optimum levels of performance.
  • Change air filters at least every three moths. A dirty air filter prevents air from passing through, which causes heating and cooling systems to run longer in order to reach the desired room temperature.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. To save money, program the thermostat to only warm or cool the house while people are home. During that day, while everyone is away, set the thermostat to a cooler temperature in winter and warmer during the summer months. This will prevent heating and cooling units from running unnecessarily.
  • Set the water heater to 120 degrees F to reduce the number of times it kicks on to maintain a higher water temperature. Clean the dryer's lint trap before each cycle. Lint buildup prevents the dryer's hot air from flowing easily, which creates longer drying cycles and more energy consumption.
  • Set the refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees F and place the unit in a location that is not near a heat source (heating vent, stove, etc.)
  • Allow air to circulate behind the refrigerator. This will help keep the coils cool.
  • Clean refrigerator coils regularly to remove any dust that may have accumulated. Dust may act as a heat insulator, which can cause the refrigerator to run longer in order to cool the air within.
  • Replace traditional light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs. These bulbs provide bright light and a longer lifespan while only using a fraction of the electricity.

Use power strips to provide appliances with electricity. Once the appliance is no longer in use, simply turn the strip off. Most appliances continue to draw electricity even when they are turned off. By removing the energy source, the electrical draw is prevented.