You’ve left that envelope on the kitchen table long enough. You finally open your utility bill and just like you feared it is ridiculously high again. We’ve all been there, but thanks to modern energy efficient and water saving appliances you don’t have to stay there. We’ll guide you through some of the best appliances to focus on to get the most out of your investment in energy efficiency.
Upgrade to a More Efficient Furnace or Air Conditioner
Almost half of the energy your home uses is spent on heating and cooling which make this area a great place to focus on. Older units can be very inefficient and cost you much more in utilities than a new model would to do a better job. Focus on these in fall and spring before you need them the most and you can save a lot of money in the hottest and coldest months of the year. Newer furnaces and air conditioner are also programmable so you can set them to only be on when you are home so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty house. Energy Star rates furnaces and air conditioners as well so you can discuss which models you’re interested in for your home with your installer and make sure that your new unit will be the most efficient possible.
Install an Energy Efficient Dishwasher
Upgrading your dishwasher is a great way to save water and energy at the same time. Modern Energy Star rated dishwashers use as little as 3 gallons per load compared to 27 gallons if you wash them by hand according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That means that using an energy efficient dishwasher saves you on utilities and makes less work for you and we’re sure anyone can get behind that. Consumer Reports has a helpful list of the most efficient models on the market that we recommend looking over to find one that will work for what you need.
Energy Efficient and Tankless Water Heaters
Conventional water heaters heat a large tank of water and hold the water at the specified temperature so that you have hot water when you need it. Heating water this way wastes a lot of energy though because as the water in the tank cools the water heater has to turn back on to keep the water hot. Tankless water heaters avoid this problem and only heat water when you need it. When you turn on a hot water tap in your home, tankless water heaters run cold water through superheated coils that instantly heats the water to the desired temperature. This reduces energy waste and also means that you have a practically unlimited supply of hot water so you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up after the tank is emptied. Check Energy Star ratings before you buy to make sure you’re getting the most efficient model possible.
Install Low Flow Shower Heads
Don’t dismiss low flow shower heads just because they’ve been the butt of jokes for years. Modern low flow fixtures still deliver water at 80 psi and can achieve water savings of 25%-65% according to the Department of Energy. Saving that much water every month can add up to a lot of savings on your water bill and free up money in your budget for other fun things. Considering that low flow shower heads are the least expensive on our list this is a great place to start on your road to having a more efficient home.