There are some ways to save money every day that most people don’t think about: their appliances. Most appliances don’t run as efficiently as they could, but no one ever notices because we just shut the lid to the dryer or washer or dishwasher and we can’t ever tell. ENERGY STAR-rated appliances can save more than $1000 a year if they are implemented correctly.
To most people, a thousand dollars means something. You can buy new clothes, tires, fix the car, a down payment on braces, anything. However, most people are throwing away at least this amount by having inefficient appliances.
Where Energy Is Being Used
Many don’t realize that most of a home’s energy is used to heat water. For a couple with no kids, this might mean $30 in water usage and $100 in heating in cooling per month, averaged over a year. For homes with more people, which are typically bigger homes, this number rises exponentially.
If you consider an average day in fall before the weather gets cold, a couple will do two loads of laundry, one load of dishes, and take two showers. If more people are in the house, there are more clothes, more dishes and more showers to be taken. The water begins to pile up.
Don’t forget that a considerable amount of your home’s heat can escape through the windows if they are not energy efficient. Click this link to read more about energy star windows.
ENERGY STAR Washing Machines
Most washing machines use 40 or more gallons per load. This is an extraordinary number. Not only is it obscenely wasteful, but it can get very expensive when you consider how many of these gallons need to be heated and how much energy is needed and paid for to make this work.
ENERGY STAR-rated washing machines use between 18-25 gallons. These appliances will save you 38-55% on water consumption per load, and depending on how many loads you wash on Hot, it will also reduce the heating bill by nearly half per load.
ENERGY STAR Dishwashers
A typical dishwasher uses 12 gallons per load, all of which is hot water.
ENERGY STAR-rated dishwashers use three gallons less per load, which again not only saves the cost of those three gallons, but also the cost to heat them. This type of dishwasher will save 25% every time you run it.
Water usage is sort of the quiet killer in home energy bills. Depending on how many showers people take, and how many people there are in the home to take them, sprinklers, pools and fish tanks, water can become a huge spender, especially when you have to heat it. To be sure, Heating and Cooling is its own vice.
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Heating and Cooling: Energy Star HVAC
Depending on how extreme the weather is in your area, heating and cooling a home can be responsible for 40% or more of a home’s yearly energy bill. It is a necessary evil to have your home at a bearable temperature, but you don’t have to settle for those old HVAC units that are inefficient and cost you money.
Heating and AC units with the ENERGY STAR rating will use 20% less energy than a typical unit, and even more than that if you have an older model. Installing an Energy Star model can be a significant savings year after year. As added protection from the elements and energy costs, Energy Star windows will insulate better than standard windows.
This is a no brainer. They cost between $35-135, depending on the model, and they can be programmed to only have the heat or air on when you are home, or better yet, right before you get home. You can program these devices to turn down the heat or the air when you leave for work and kick back on 20 minutes before you get home, and back down again 10 minutes after you hop into bed. They can be made to heat only the rooms in the house that you use and not waste energy heating or cooling guest bedrooms and baths. These devices alone can save you 9% on your heating and air conditioning bill, which could be a minimum of $100 over the year just by purchasing and installing this device.
ENERGY STAR Drawbacks
It is definitely cheaper not to buy new appliances than it is to run old ones that are inefficient—new appliances will cost more than one year of heating and cooling. Depending on the availability in your area, it might also be expensive to buy ENERGY STAR rated appliances. These are definitely up-front costs that will seem considerable. However, if you are in the market for a new appliance, opting for one of these money savers is definitely the best choice.