Home Improvement: Energy Star Appliances
by Carla Hill
Thursday, May 24, 2012
It's not just those fancy front-loading machines that give you energy savings anymore, either. There are plenty of top-loading varieties that give you plenty of savings.
Clothes washers and dryers are some of the biggest energy users in a home, so 30 percent less energy usage is a big deal. You'll literally see a noticeable reduction in your monthly energy bill.
Buying a new energy-efficient appliance may not pay for itself in the first month or year, but it will save you money over time. "On average, a new ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer uses 270 kwh of electricity and costs $60 to run, each year," says the Energy Star site.
For areas that need to conserve water, these appliance upgrades are a real blessing. According to EnergyStar.gov, "A full-sized ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer uses 14 gallons of water per load, compared to the 27 gallons used by a standard machine. That's 50 percent less water, per load. Over the machine's lifetime, that's a savings of 43,000 gallons of water!!"
Imagine if every household in a drought-ridden area was able to go green and use new energy-efficient appliances? This would relieve a huge burden. If everyone in the entire nation used this type of clothes washer, it would be the equivalent of saving 32 billion gallons of water and individual energy bill savings of $350 ... every year.
If you want to take your environmental consciousness a step further, be sure to use perfume and dye free detergents. These are generally marketed as "free and clear" versions of your favorite brands.
What about some of your other favorite appliances? Old fridges are notorious energy drains. If you have a fridge from the 1980's, replacing it will save you $100 a year in utility bills. If you have an even more ancient model, say from the 1970's, you could save $200 a year just by replacing it!
Pre-1994 dishwashers are also sapping away at energy. Replace one of these old models and you'll save another $40 a year.
Finally, while clothes dryers don't carry the label of "Energy Star" you can find newer models that boast moisture sensors which can help your dryer shut off when clothes are dry instead of continuing to run.
Forty dollars here. One hundred dollars there. Before you know it, you've saved a bundle each year. So, is it worth it to buy new Energy Star appliances? You betcha.
Perhaps most importantly when you buy new appliances, you'll be utilizing less energy and putting a smaller burden on Mother Earth.
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