7 Energy-Saving Appliances

Learn more about energy-efficient appliances that can save the environment, as well as the money you spend on energy bills

Appliances and home electronics are responsible for about 20 percent of the typical U.S. home’s energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But you can cut those bills by switching to newer, energy-saving devices. The EPA and DOE created the Energy Star label to indicate government-backed energy-efficient and energy-saving appliances, devices and other products. Such products help reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants and save consumers money by helping them decrease their energy usage. Less energy used equals more money saved. Following is a list of the most common energy-saving appliances.

Clothes washers

Washing machines, or clothes washers, are popular choices when shopping for energy-saving devices. According to the Energy Star program, the average U.S. family washes nearly 400 loads of laundry per year. That adds up to a lot of water! Families can save energy and cut their water costs by more than 50 percent by switching to an Energy Star clothes washer. Energy Star adds that you could fill three swimming pools with the amount of water saved, and you could save more than $135 per year on your utility bills.

Dishwashers

According to the DOE, roughly 70 percent of U.S. electricity is made though burning coal and natural gas, both of which release greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming. The advanced technology used in the new energy-saving dishwashers gets your dishes clean while conserving both water and energy.

According to Energy Star, if your dishwasher was made before 1994, you’re paying $40 per year more on your utility bills than you would if you owned an Energy Star-qualified dishwasher. Older dishwashers also waste about eight gallons of water per wash cycle compared to Energy Star models. Because Energy Star models help save energy, they also help combat global warming and protect our natural water sources.

Refrigerators

Today’s refrigerators conserve much more energy than older models and help reduce our impact on the environment. According to Energy Star, the DOE requires Energy Star refrigerators to use 20 percent less energy than non-Energy Star models. You can save energy and money, up to $165 over the lifetime of your refrigerator, in fact, by switching to an energy-saving refrigerator.

If you have a fridge from the 1970s, you could conserve energy and save more than $200 per year on your energy bills by switching to an energy-saving refrigerator. If your fridge is from the 1980s, you could save $100 per year by making the switch. Energy Star offers a savings calculator so you can estimate your savings by switching to energy-saving appliances.

Freezers

Because of improvements in compressors and insulation, today’s freezers save more energy than older models. According to the EPA and DOE, Energy Star freezers conserve 10 percent more energy than non-Energy Star models. Buying a new, energy-saving freezer can save you $70 each year if your freezer is from the 1980s, and $35 each year if your freezer was made between then and 1993.

Tankless water heaters

Water heaters are very popular considerations when families are looking to save energy and switch to energy-saving appliances. Tankless water heaters conserve energy because they heat water only when it’s needed. This means they cut your heating costs by 30 percent while also providing you with continuous hot water. According to the EPA and DOE, gas tankless water heaters are popular in new construction and as replacements for older gas storage water heaters.

According to the California Energy Commission’s Appliance Efficiency Database, gas tankless water heaters offer significant energy savings. In addition, gas tankless water heaters with an energy factor, which measures the overall energy efficiency of an appliance, of 82 or higher qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Some states, like Pennsylvania, Florida and California, also offer state and local tax credits. Check to see if your state offers any tax incentives.

Air conditioners

According to Energy Star, heating and cooling your home costs the average homeowner about $1,000 per year. This accounts for roughly half of your home’s total energy bill. Energy Star-rated air conditioning units have a higher seasonal efficiency rating (SEER) than standard models, meaning they’re roughly 14 percent more efficient. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) offer an online database that identifies high-efficiency, energy-saving air conditioning devices.

Furnaces

According to the DOE, furnaces are the most common type of household heating system in the United States. The DOE also says that Energy Star-qualified furnaces have annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 85 percent or higher, meaning they conserve at least 15 percent more energy than standard models.

Furnaces first qualified for the Energy Star program in April 1995. According to the Energy Star program, if just one in 10 households bought an Energy Star qualified furnace (or air conditioning unit), we could prevent 15 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions. That’s equal to the emissions from roughly 1.3 million vehicles.

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