Homes are beautiful and cozy and wonderful places to relax, but they aren’t always great for the environment. Older appliances are everywhere and they suck up electricity like an industrial vacuum cleaner in a squat. It’s safe to say your home adds to your carbon footprint by a significant amount, which is a problem for Mother Earth. After all, reducing, reusing and recycling around the home is a goal for lots of people these days. There is only one planet we share, and we all need to do our part.
In that vein, let's focus on four of the most inefficient appliances in the home, and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprints.
4 Energy-Guzzling Appliances You'll Want To Consider Upgrading
If you had to guess which appliance uses the most electricity, you'd no doubt consider your refrigerator. Its bulky frame requires a lot of juice to keep it running, and it never turns off. In monetary terms, it’s costs about $0.50 every day or $75 a year to run your fridge, according to npower.com. To conserve energy when it comes to your fridge, check the gaskets around the door. If your fridge is not closing properly, it will run harder and longer, thus using more electricity. Also, make sure your temperature settings are at 37-40F for the fridge, and 0-5F for the freezer. Alternatively, purchasing a new unit with an Energy Star seal is a surefire way to save money and electricity, as older models can use up to 40% more electricity than newer ones.
2. Washing Machines
Anyone who thinks running a refrigerator is on the pricey side is in for a shocker: A washing machine costs more than its daily use in a one hour spin. Yep, that’s $0.70 per 60-minute wash. How many times do you wash clothes per week? Even if you throw one load of laundry in per day, that's $255 per year just in electricity use! To save a few bucks on your laundry bill, wash clothes in cold water as much as possible. Heating water can increase you electricity bill substantially, because 80-90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat water (unless the washing machine is hooked up to a hot water connection).
If you have a top loader, consider purchasing a front load washer. Front load washers are more energy-efficient as they use 50-60% less water. Again, consider an Energy Star appliance: Energy Star rated models use about 500 watts.
3. Garbage Disposals
Having a garbage disposal in the kitchen is one of the biggest perks for anyone who likes to cook. Energy use for disposals aren’t very expensive in terms of other appliances (at around 500 - 1,500 watts over a shorter usage period), yet they are an indulgence. However older, smaller models can clog, and then you're faced with high water consumption used to aid in unclogging the disposal. If your model is older, you can also be faced with a failing motor. Homeowners who are looking to upgrade, add or swap out their current garbage disposal should head to downthesink.com and check out the reviews. They cover everything from running costs to noise and grind stages.
Did you know? The television is on for about 8 hours per day in the average US household. With the average boob tube costing 0.05 per hour, that's a whopping $145 per year! According to Consumer Reports, some of those TVs use more energy than a refrigerator!
To save electricity, just turn it off. If you're in the market for a new television, however, purchase new Energy Star models: they use about 30% less energy than non-Energy Star models. Thankfully, most new televisions are already Energy Star-compliant (about 75%).
To get an idea of what uses the most electricity in your home, check out this infographic from visualcapitalist:
No matter what appliances you have in your home, consider "ghost electricity". Ghost electricity comes from all of the items you have plugged in and aren't using. Just because they aren't in use doesn't mean they aren't drawing power. Lamps, radios, televisions and such could simply be plugged into surge protectors and turned off and on as needed. Doing this can save you hundreds of dollars on your yearly energy bill.