With temperatures and energy bills rising, lowering energy costs just might be the ticket to seeing green—in your pocket when it comes to saving money on your next utility bill—all while providing some energy-efficient benefits to you and the environment.
As we all know, in 2021, Americans paid 25.1% and 6.5% more for gas utilities and electricity, according to data from the U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The good news is even small changes can make a big difference. Consider these three ways to save some “green” with your appliances this year.
Wait to Wash Your Clothes
If you don’t have a full load of clothes to throw in the laundry, wait. Or consider washing the clothes in cold or warm water instead. ENERGY STAR suggests almost 90% of a washing machine’s energy consumptions is spent heating the water, so it is best to wait until it is full. Some other tips are to clean the lint trap after every use and to air try clothes whenever possible. Just imagine the fresh smell your skivvies will have after hanging them on a clothesline flapping in the breeze and capturing the warmth of the sun to dry them. And then just ignore the face of your neighbors!
Reconsider How You Do Dishes
Using an energy-efficient dishwasher instead of hand washing can save roughly 5,000 gallons of water and $40 in utility costs each year, according to the California Energy Commission. While using the dishwasher may actually save electricity and water, consider skipping the heat-dry cycle. Let them air dry or hand dry them yourselves. This will save around 15% of the dishwasher’s total energy use by reconsidering how you dry dishes. If you go this route, use a towel that’s always clean or maybe invest in a cleaned dish rack.
Look to Energy-Efficiency Appliances
When it is time to upgrade your appliances, consider ones that are energy efficient and with the latest technologies. Spending a little extra when you upgrade could pay off in the long run. ENERGY STAR appliances will save between 10-50%, depending on the comparison model. However, admittedly supply-chain disruptions are still a challenge and finding the right appliance at this time can be difficult. Couple that with price increases, because of oncoming inflation, and you have the perfect storm.
While savings vary by home, NRDC (National Resource Defense Council) estimates energy-efficiency standards have already saved American homeowners in the neighborhood of $200 billion to date, or about $2,000 per household.
What steps are you taking to save energy efficiency in your home? Does it start with your appliances? What else can we be doing?
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