If you’re on a mission to make your home more energy efficient, there are a few places you can start. Heating and cooling make up for the majority of your energy usage, so ensure your HVAC system is functioning properly. In addition, check that your windows and doors are adequately sealed. And if you’re looking to upgrade your household appliances, start with these five to get maximize your home’s energy efficiency.
When it comes to energy, water heaters can be some of the most inefficient appliances in your home. In fact, about 20% of annual home energy costs are from water heaters. If your water heater is over ten years old, it would be a good appliance to replace. Switching to an Energy Star approved water heater could save you up to $3,400 over the lifespan of your water heater.
Technology within in washers (and dryers for that matter) is constantly improving. Upgrading to a new washing machine with an Energy Star label could cut your washing energy usage by 25%. And if you still have an agitator washer from years ago, upgrading could cut your usage by up to 75%.
Refrigerators have come quite a long way over the years. In fact, Energy Star fridges sold today use approximately 50% less energy than a fridge purchased in 2001. When upgrading your refrigerator it’s important to understand that not all fridges are created equal. A top-freezer refrigerator costs about $40 a year to run, a bottom-freezer refrigerator costs about $70 a year to run and a side-by-side model costs about $75 a year to run.
The most affordable upgrade on the list, switching out your old thermostat for a smart thermostat could save you up to 15% on your energy bills. Keep in mind, you have to utilize the unit properly and take advantage of different eco settings to ensure you are actually saving energy.
And the number one appliance to upgrade if you’re looking to make a huge dent in your energy usage, is your old clothes dryer. Dryers utilize more energy than all other home appliances. Most Energy Star approved dryers contain moisture sensors that automatically shut off the units once the clothes are dry to help conserve energy. And while both gas and electric units can be energy efficient, gas dryers tend to be more efficient than their electric counterparts.