You Can Make Your Home Greener with Energy Efficient Appliances

Time for a makeover? Make sure energy-efficient appliances are a part of the plan

Does it bother you that you think your carbon footprint is too big? At the same time, are you paying more than you’d like for your utility bills? Well, fortunately, there’s an easy solution to both problems. Go green!

One of the best ways to start going green is to look at all of the appliances in your home. When you replace your old appliances with green ones, especially those with Energy Star certification, you can reduce your home’s energy consumption by 10-50%!

Green Appliances: An Investment in Energy, Water, and Money Savings

For example, if your refrigerator is more than ten years old even if you bought a high-end model, the chances are it’s a real energy hog. So, as soon as you can afford it, get a new one. The newer models have enough energy-saving features built into them that they can save you from $100-200 per year on energy costs. Even though newer “green” refrigerators are more expensive than standard models, you’ll save enough on your electric bill in four to five years to justify that extra cost. You can cut your new fridge’s energy usage even more by unhooking the automatic ice maker and using old-fashioned ice trays.

If you haven’t done this already, switch to an Energy Star high-efficiency dishwasher. This one simple change will not only save you money on your electric bill by using 25% less energy than an older model, you can also save yourself 5,000 gallons of water a year, so there will be a savings on your monthly water bill as well. When you’re trying to go green and save money, every little bit helps. Saving water is one of the greenest things you can do. If the experts are right in their forecasts, fresh water may become the most valuable resource on the planet, so it’s up to everyone to conserve this precious resource so that there’s enough to go around.

Most homes in America have a washer and a dryer in them, but if you are using a 10-15-year-old washer or dryer, then they’re making your electric bill higher than it needs to be. Like all green appliances, green washers and dryer will be more expensive to purchase, but the energy savings they produce make them economical and smart choices for the long term. Get rid of your old washer and replace it with a horizontal axis washing machine. This change alone will probably save you $120 a year or more on your electric bill, which will absolutely offset the higher cost of a unit like this. Horizontal axis machines also have the advantage of fitting into smaller spaces. They’re also quieter and enable you to wash large loads using less detergent, which puts fewer chemicals into your home’s waste water stream.

As for your dryer, one of the green choices is to get a dryer that has moisture and temperature sensors in it. Instead of just running for a set time, the dryer will shut off earlier if the clothes inside it are already dry. This saves energy and reduces wear and tear on your clothes so that you don’t have to replace them nearly as often. Sealed combustion gas clothes dryers will also use considerably less energy than conventional models, and they have added health benefits since they vent fewer gases that escape into your home.

Of course when it comes to drying your clothes, the absolute greenest way to dry them is on a clothesline. Sure, it takes a little while longer to hang up the wet clothes to dry, but they’ll be dry very shortly on a sunny day, and drying them in the sun instead of a clothes dryer helps them to last longer. So installing a clothesline is a win-win for your pocketbook and the environment!

Appliances are expensive… period. When you’re looking at making these big purchases, take your utility bills and carbon footprint into account; you’ll see that energy efficient appliances, over the long term, are a bargain for you… and the planet.

Shelly Towns manages online marketing strategy for Angie’s List, which collects ratings and reviews on local contractors and doctors. Whether you want to find a find a doctor or a general contractor, Angie’s List provides you with the resources to find the best. Shelly is a published author and spends most of her time thinking about SEO and viral content.

Thinking about switching to more energy efficient appliances? Check out our current listings of refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines… and even clotheslines.

Image credit: Yew Tree House at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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