Going Green Part 1: Appliances to save money, water, and energy
As people become more environmentally conscious, it’s getting easier to keep homes eco-friendly. That’s great news for the environment, and most likely for your bottom line. Green appliances are typically far more efficient than older counterparts, which means they save energy, water and, in the long run, money. The first thing to check is whether your appliance is certified by Energy Star, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that ranks products for energy efficiency. Here are some appliances to upgrade for more energy efficient models.
The most important thing to check is its Energy Star rating. Also pay attention to size and layout. Bigger appliances use more energy, but models with a top-mounted freezer are more efficient. (Be sure to recycle your old refrigerator when you do upgrade.)
With modern technology that utilizes sensors, more efficient water distribution and better dish rack designs, a new dishwasher has many benefits. Energy Star-rateddishwashers use less water and energy than older models, which also saves you money in the long run. According to Energy Star, a certified dishwasher will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime. That adds up to savings all around.
CLOTHES WASHING MACHINE/DRYER
New clothes washers and dryers will use an average of 20 to 25 percent less energy than their older counterparts, and washing machines will use 33 percent less water. Energy Star recommends a clothes washer with a high Integrated Modified Energy Factor, or IMEF, and a low Integrated Water Factor (IWF), which measure energy and water efficiency. Be sure those items are listed on the appliances you’re considering. There are options available from a variety of brands and price points.
There is no Energy Star rating available currently for residential ovens, but there are still ways to be eco-conscious as you’re cooking. The Department of Energyrecommends convection ovens and self-cleaning ovens for efficiency. Slow cookers or pressure cookers also offer more efficient ways of cooking things like soup.
Air purifier/water filter
Air purifiers can greatly improve the air quality in your home by filtering out dust particles, dander, pollen, etc. An Energy Star certified air purifier can use up to 40 percent less energy than non-certified models, which can turn into big long-term savings. Be sure to get a size that fits the room where it will live — bigger purifiers use more energy, but getting one that’s too small for the space will hinder its ability to work properly. Similarly, water filters remove pollutants from your drinking water, providing long-term health benefits.
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