Approximately 90% of the electricity in the United States is produced using nonrenewable resources. These fossil fuels are depleting at a rate that is unsustainable for any great period of time. Changes are necessary if we do not wish to strip the planet bare of these resources. One way we can all contribute is through the use of green home appliances. These appliances use a fraction of the energy, and sometimes water, that traditional appliances use. This reduction in electricity use in turn requires less use of those nonrenewable sources of energy. Every home owner in the country should be looking to upgrade to these energy-efficient appliances at first opportunity; not only for the environment’s sake, but for the sake of their wallets, too.
Water heaters usually account for roughly 20-25% of your home’s energy costs. Upgrading to a solar water heater will cut that portion of your bill down significantly. By using the vast supply of energy the sun provides, you will enjoy a number of benefits. From lower energy costs to lower harmful emissions, it’s definitely a win-win situation. Make sure your new solar water heater is Energy Star Certified and you’ll be sitting pretty.
Another massive chunk of your monthly energy bill, up to 70%, is your heating and cooling system. If you’re saddled with a traditional HVAC unit, you’re paying too much and harming our environment simultaneously. There are a number of upgrade options, ranging from solar to geothermal heating and cooling systems. Most geothermal systems are Energy Star Certified, so you know they are good for the environment. But how good are they exactly? Many of these systems are 400-600% more efficient, cutting costs by up to 80%. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see the dollars piling up in favor of geothermal. Here’s one more thing to consider: federal tax credits are available for those looking to install geothermal systems. This credit can reduce installation costs by 30%.
If you’re still operating a refrigerator from the 1990s, the time to upgrade is immediately. Due to increased federal regulations for energy efficiency, refrigerators have come a long way since the ‘90s. Fridges manufactured after July 2001 are 30% more efficient than those produced before that time. Fridges made today use only 25% of the energy used by the same products from the 1970s. In other words, the energy efficiency of refrigerators has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. If you’re still using an older model fridge, it’s definitely time to look into something a bit more modern.
Clothes washers are another appliance that has improved greatly in the past 20 years. A washer made in 1999 is 51% more efficient than one made in 1981. This number is largely caused by the massive reduction in the amount of hot water used. A modernized washer uses about 50% of the water used by one from the ‘80s. Depending on where in the country you live, that saved water can result in a nice savings on your utilities.
Once you have saved money it is important to keep it safe. A safe box is a great way to that. Just make sure to set a password you can remember!