Energy Efficient Appliances
Turning your home into a model of energy efficiency is a holistic effort that requires many different inputs. While having energy-efficient windows and insulation is a great start, it's not always enough to have a major impact. To get the most out of any energy efficiency plan, you need to also invest in efficient appliances. Using energy-efficient appliances in conjunction with other efficiency upgrades is the best way to get the most out of your money.
The Impact of Efficient Appliances
Energy-efficient appliances can be a substantial financial benefit to your home. They can be cheaper to get when you take certain considerations into account and they cost you less money to operate over time. This results in you spending less money paying for the operation of your appliance over the course of its life.
In terms of the initial financial investment, you can often save a lot of money by investing in energy-efficient appliances. There are a number of local and federal government programs that provide grants and tax incentives to those who purchase these appliances. These programs exist to help make the purchase of energy-efficient appliances more accessible to the general public. If your purchases qualify for these programs, then you may end up saving a decent amount of money on the initial purchase. This is money that you wouldn't save if you were buying a more traditional appliance.
The long-term costs associated with energy-efficient appliances are also much lower than those of their traditional counterparts. Since efficient appliances use less energy by their very nature, they are much cheaper to operate. You can get an equal level of use and effectiveness out of your appliances while using a fraction of the energy. This is money that you can put toward other home upgrades. Even small appliances can have a big impact on your monthly energy bills. In the end, energy-efficient appliances end up paying for themselves when you consider how much money they save you.
Finding the Right Appliances for Your Home
Searching for the right appliances for your needs can be a painstaking process. You need to factor in your level of use, the type of energy you are using, the cost of the appliance and many other things. Typically, the two types of energy used by your appliances will be gas and electricity. Electric appliances carry some unique benefits just like gas appliances do. When searching for a new oven or a water heater, deciding between gas and electric can be your first big decision.
Level of Use
You are going to see the most obvious impacts on your energy bill when you upgrade appliances that traditionally use the most energy. For example, you will see more obvious savings from an efficient heating system than an efficient microwave. If you're upgrading from an old electric forced-air heating unit, then you'll notice a major impact on your energy bills after the first month of using an efficient heat pump.
Despite the difference in obvious monthly savings, many people opt for upgrading smaller appliances first. Upgrading your HVAC system to be more energy efficient can be a large investment that costs thousands of dollars. By contrast, upgrading all of the major appliances in your kitchen to energy efficient models could cost less than $1000.
Type of Energy
The type of energy used by your appliances will be decided by both your personal taste and the availability of specific types of energy. For example, major utility companies in certain parts of the country don't even offer customers access to natural gas. In other parts of the country, natural gas is a normal part of what major utility companies offer. If you can't even get access to natural gas through your utility company, that eliminates those natural gas options immediately.
To help understand how to move forward, many homeowners work with a contractor to have an energy audit performed. An energy audit is an assessment of your energy efficiency that is done by a qualified contractor. The contractor will go through your home and look at many different things. Your insulation, your windows, your appliances, your paint, your siding and lots of other factors will be scrutinized. After the audit, the contractor will tell you what you could do to make your home more energy efficient. You won't be bound to having all of the recommended changes made. It's just to give you an idea of what could be better.
Take a Deliberate Approach
When shopping for energy-efficient appliances, it's important to take a very deliberate approach. Never buy on a whim and donít let yourself get talked into buying something you don't need. Do your research and go into these purchases with a good understanding of what you need and what you're willing to pay. When you go into this process with this sort of attitude, you'll definitely end up with efficient appliances you'll love.