The modern home is full of useful appliances. The kitchen alone contains a treasure trove of appliances large and small, from the fridge, oven, and dishwasher to the microwave, coffee pot, and toaster. Then there is the washer and dryer in the laundry room, as well as the equipment attached to your HVAC system. And you’ll find sundry other small appliances located throughout the average home. And while all of them run on electricity, some suck up a lot more energy than others. If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, it behooves you to figure out which of your household appliances are guzzling the most energy so that you can upgrade them first. And some are serious offenders, especially if you’re still relying on old-school products that aren’t Energy Star rated. Here are some of the items you’ll likely want to address.
Perhaps the greatest amount of waste comes from the refrigerator. Although the last few decades have seen drastic improvements in the energy consumption of ice boxes, still they are one of the biggest energy wasters in your home. Unfortunately, it’s terribly convenient to have perishable food items preserved in the fridge and freezer, so you’re probably stuck with this energy-guzzling appliance. But you can definitely upgrade to an energy-efficient model when it comes time to replace your old fridge, or you can preempt the process by simply donating an appliance that still works (so as to send it to a home in need rather than a landfill) and purchasing a modern product that offers the height of energy efficiency.
Your HVAC system, including your furnace and air conditioning unit, are bound to be another source of energy waste if they haven’t been upgraded in some time. This is especially true if you live in a climate that experiences extreme temperatures during the summer, the winter, or both, leaving you to rely on your machinery for the comfortable indoor climate you likely prefer. You may not notice the problem right away, but when the weather gets hot or cold enough outside that you have to run your HVAC equipment day and night, you might be shocked to see the associated energy bill. When you install energy-efficient models you stand to see significant savings on your annual expenses, although you may have to make your home airtight, increase insulation, and install proper ventilation to see maximum results. But if you’re looking for ways to save money on heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, the determining factor may be the HVAC appliances you’ve got in your home.
Of course, replacing other major appliances can also result in significant savings. But don’t forget about small appliances, which can sometimes use up nearly as much energy as their larger cousins, depending on how much you use them. Hair dryers, for example, draw a huge amount of energy for a relatively small appliance. And the same goes for your coffee maker, microwave, and other essential electrical goods. When you add them all together they can have quite an impact on your overall energy bill. So it behooves you to upgrade not only your large appliances, but also the small ones to energy-efficient models if you want to practice conservation.