Not only are appliances expensive at the onset, they continue to cost you money as you use them in your home. Purchasing energy-efficient appliances can reduce overall appliance expense because your appliance won’t cost you as much to run day after day.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides useful information about how to estimate the annual cost of using an appliance. With a little figuring, you can quickly determine how much any appliance will cost you before you even buy it.
Use 10 tips to reduce appliance energy usage and whittle down your electricity budget to a more manageable number.
Washing laundry in cold water is not just for washing delicates anymore. By switching to washing clothes in cold water, you can reduce your carbon emissions because your wash load won’t require heating the water. You may save as much as 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year is you make the switch to washing in cold water instead of warm or hot. Make sure you purchase special cold-water laundry detergent to ensure that your clothes are clean after washing in cold water.
While purchasing the most energy efficient refrigerator should reduce your overall energy expenses for using the fridge, you can take steps to make your refrigerator even more energy efficient, too. Keep your refrigerator as full as possible because it will retain the cold more efficiently. If you don’t keep enough food on hand to fill your fridge, place water-filled jugs inside the refrigerator to take up space.
When you don’t use appliances or gadgets regularly, unplug them. Unplug chargers for electronics when you aren’t using them as well, only plugging in when it’s time to charge. You can simplify this process by plugging items into power strips. When you aren’t using the appliance or gadget, turn off the power strip to save energy. Don’t forget to unplug everything before you go away to save energy, too.
The more energy efficient your dryer, the better it will work and the less it will cost you. If you forget to clean the dryer lint trap, you may reduce the energy efficiency of your dryer by as much as 75 percent. Twice each year, clean out the dryer vent as well to ensure that your dryer runs in tip-top condition.
While dumping your wet laundry directly into the dryer is convenient, you can save money if you air dry clothing instead of machine-drying them. Install a clothesline outside, if possible. If this isn’t an option, use a drying rack indoors or rig an indoor clothesline for use in drying clothing.
Running your dishwasher when it is not completely full is not the most efficient use of dishwasher energy. By waiting to run your dishwasher until you fill it completely, you use the hot water and the energy to operate the dishwasher most efficiently. If it takes more than a day to fill your dishwasher, use the rinse-and-hold feature of the dishwasher to prevent food from drying and sticking to the dishes. The rinse-and-hold cycle does not use as much water or energy as the wash cycle.
Your television can be a significant source of energy use in the household – especially if you have a large unit. Consider upgrading to an LED flat screen television to reduce energy use. An LED television uses energy efficient technology that burns cool because of the backlighting principle. LCD televisions are more energy efficient than plasma televisions. While you may encounter a higher price tag at the onset, the energy efficiency over the long term can make an LED television more affordable.
Using ceiling fans in your home has several benefits for saving money. With correct usage, you may even find that you can keep your air conditioner off (saving up to 40 percent on your cooling bill) and remain about 8 degrees cooler with a ceiling fan. During the summer, run the ceiling fan blades in counter-clockwise motion to circulate air and make rooms more comfortable. During the winter, run the blades in clockwise direction to move the warmest air down from the ceiling.
Turning down your thermostat a few degrees can have a significant impact on your overall heating budget. In fact, turning back your thermostat 10 or 15 degrees for the eight hours overnight can result in a savings of up to 15 percent on your heating bill. The bottom line – you can save up to 1 percent on your heating bill for every degree you turn down the thermostat over an eight-hour period. Turning down the heat doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable ordeal, either. Try snuggling up on the couch with a warm blanket instead of turning up the heat.
Instead of using artificial lighting in your home, consider installing larger windows to bring in more natural sunlight. Known as “daylighting,” this principle uses both windows and skylights to add natural lighting into a home. As you consider and explore daylighting in your home, make sure the windows you install are energy efficient or you may swap one problem for another. Windows facing the south will provide the most light and warmth during the summer. Windows facing the north will provide the most even light and the least amount of warmth during the summer. Windows facing the east and west are not effective for daylighting because they will only provide quality natural light in the morning and evening with high amounts of warmth during the summer and little amounts of warmth during the winter.
Sometimes it pays to spend a few more dollars at the time of purchase if you’ll save money in energy efficiency over the life of the appliance. Once you see the impact your energy efficiency can have on your energy dollar, you may become quite adept at cutting corners and trimming expenses. Think of the better ways you can use your money instead of throwing it away needlessly to operate appliances in your home. Don’t forget to visit the Red Beacon website for more tips and guidelines for saving energy in your home.