When it comes to energy efficiency, not all appliances are created equal. Recent innovations in green technology have led to the development of modern household appliances that are superior to traditional devices in many ways.
Whether you’re interested in saving money on utility bills, reducing your carbon footprint or updating to more durable appliances, it’s worth considering the benefits of energy-efficient alternatives on the market. These green devices will generally be marked with the government’s Energy Star label.
Washer and Dryers
A standard clothes washer uses about 40 gallons of water per load and features a top loader with a vertical axis. An energy-efficient model will cut water usage down to 18 – 25 gallons and have a horizontal front loader. Front-load washers hold more clothes and can save up to 50 percent on energy. For a more efficient dryer, choose a model that can automatically shut off when clothes are dry.
In most households, the refrigerator consumes more energy than any other appliance. Modern, power-efficient fridges are made with advanced insulation and temperature/defrosting systems to help lower the energy needed to stay cool. For these models, the freezer is usually located on the top or bottom. A conventional refrigerator that was made before 2001 could be using up to 40 percent more energy than a current Energy Star model.
While furnaces can be very efficient heating systems, many homes have outdated models that emit more greenhouse gasses than necessary. Most standard furnaces operate at an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rate of around 75 percent.
A furnace with a rating of 90 percent or higher will use much less fuel and save homeowners money during cold-weather months. Modern furnaces also make less noise and are better at applying even heat throughout at property.
The efficiency of an air conditioning system is measured by its SEER rating. Not that long ago, a SEER rating of 10 or higher was considered good. Today, the standard of excellence is at the 16 rating. Not only will homeowners who have an air conditioner with at least a 16 SEER rating enjoy lower monthly bills, they’ll qualify for federal tax credits. Modern HVAC systems are also more durable and no longer depend on eco-unfriendly refrigerant.
Unfortunately, most showers are not designed to prevent heat escape or evaporation as well as they could. One of the best ways to lower water waste is to equip a shower with an energy-efficient showerhead. Models that have the EPA WaterSense certification will save households nearly 900 gallons of water a year per person. The standard maximum flow rate for standard showerheads is 2.5 gallons per minute. While WaterSense showerheads operate at around 2.0 gpm, they are engineered to have a flow that feels powerful.
Light Fixtures and Other Electrical Options
Standard incandescent light bulbs are sold at such reasonable prices that it’s hard to imagine that they could eventually use up to 10 times their cost in electricity. LED and CFL bulbs may retail for a higher price, but they’ll save homeowners more money in the long run. In fact, replacing your light fixtures with energy saving bulbs is one of the easiest ways to make your home more efficient. CFLs are four times more efficient than traditional bulbs, and they last 10 times longer. LEDs are even better — lasting 100 times longer than incandescents.
Switching to solar power offers so many environmental benefits that it’s no wonder federal and state agencies are encouraging homeowners to make the jump. For starters, you can get a federal tax credit worth up to 30 percent of the installation cost. However, the real savings start rolling in as you generate monthly energy surpluses through your panels. These surpluses can earn significant savings on your utility bills. Once your house is equipped with the proper energy converters, your electric system will run pretty much the same as before you went solar.
The Cooling Company wants to help you conserve – call today for assistance on energy-efficient appliances, heating and air conditioning.