How to Tell If Your Appliances Are Energy Efficient
In a modern home, certain appliances are a must-have. No Seattle home would be complete without a stove and refrigerator, while most homeowners also choose to have a dishwasher, microwave, clothes washer and dryer, and more. While these appliances can help you get household chores done quickly and with ease, they also draw electricity that can increase your utility bill. That’s why Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning recommends that you understand the energy-efficiency of your various appliances so that you can make any necessary changes to help lower your utility bills.
Which Appliances Draw the Most Power?
When it comes to power draw, not all appliances are created equal. Aside from your HVAC components, your refrigerator and water heater are the two appliances that draw the most power, by far. That’s because these two appliances operate around the clock to ensure that your food doesn’t spoil and your water stays warm.
Therefore, any energy improvements you make in either of these appliances will have a big impact on your energy bill. Other big energy users are your stove and your dryer. That’s why these appliances have a 240-Volt plug instead of the standard 120-Volt plug. Since these appliances draw so much power, it’s important to use them only when you have to so that you don’t waste electricity.
Newer Appliances Usually Means More Energy Efficient
To help protect the environment, appliance companies are constantly coming out with appliances that are more efficient than ever before. Therefore, the newer an appliance is, the more efficient it tends to be. Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning would caution you, though, to consider the size of your current appliances before upgrading to new appliances. After all, even if an older appliance is less efficient, it may still draw less power than a new appliance if the new appliance is significantly larger. It’s also important to consider the environmental impact of manufacturing new appliances when thinking through the most efficient options for your needs.
Energy Star Appliances Really Help the Bottom Line
Unless you’re an electrical engineer, comparing the technical specifications of different appliances can be quite tricky. To make it easier to find the most efficient appliances, the Federal government maintains the Energy Star program. This program rates a variety of appliances based on how efficiently they use energy to do the tasks they’re designed to do.
You can find water heaters, refrigerators, HVAC equipment, washers and dryers, and even televisions among the devices rated by this program. One hallmark of the Energy Star program is that it clearly states the estimated annual operating cost for a given appliance. By comparing this cost between similar appliances, you can get a good handle on which are the most efficient appliances.
Monitor Your Power Usage
If you want to understand your energy usage on an appliance-by-appliance basis, you can utilize a power usage monitor. All that you have to do is plug the appliance you want to check into the monitor and then plug the monitor into the wall. Over time, the monitor will show you how much energy the appliance uses on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. By testing all of your appliances, you can discover specific appliances that may be using more energy than expected. To test the power usage of your water heater or HVAC equipment, you can enlist the help of Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning.
Another way to monitor your power usage is to have your power company install a digital electric meter. These meters send usage data to your power company so that you can track your power usage online. By comparing your power usage over a set period of time, you can check to make sure there are no unexpected spikes in usage. If you do find spikes in usage, you can take action to correct them before you waste too much electricity.
Check for Incentives When Purchasing New Units
Although upgrading your appliances can have a fairly high up-front cost, there are financial benefits to making the change. To be sure, one of the most significant benefits of installing new appliances is that you’ll likely see your home’s energy usage go down. Beyond that, though, you may be eligible for financial incentives depending on the type of appliances that you choose.
Many local governments and power utilities offer rebates for individuals who upgrade their appliances to energy-efficient models. This is because energy-efficient appliances help to reduce the strain on local power grids and can have an impact on the quality of the air. To receive these rebates, you will likely have to complete a request form. So, when you buy new appliances, make sure to fill out these forms quickly so that you don’t miss out on this “free money.”
Improve the Efficiency of Current Appliances
If it’s not quite time to upgrade your current appliances, Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning recommends that you take some steps to improve the efficiency of your existing appliances to help reduce your energy usage. For example, if you have appliances that use incandescent light bulbs, you can replace those bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce energy consumption. To help your refrigerator use less energy, you can clean the dust off of the compressor underneath the refrigerator so that it doesn’t have to work as hard.
For your water heater, you can wrap the tank with an insulating blanket so that the water stays warmer for a longer period of time. Basic maintenance and continuous cleaning of appliances are also highly recommended to extend the life of your appliances and ensure that they’re as efficient as possible.
Proper Recycling is Key
When you install new appliances, Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning urges that you properly dispose of your existing appliances. This is because appliances are quite large, meaning they take a significant amount of space in landfills if they’re simply thrown away. Fortunately, most appliances can be safely recycled to save landfill space for future generations. Plus, since many appliances are made from steel, you may be able to drop them off at a local junkyard and receive a few dollars in exchange.
The most important appliance to be mindful of is your refrigerator. Since the compressor in a refrigerator contains refrigerants, special rules apply to the disposal of this appliance. Check with your waste disposal company to learn their policies regarding hauling away old refrigerators. If the refrigerator is still working, you can consider donating it to someone in need.
Smart Appliances Make it Simple
If you’re the type of person who forgets to turn appliances off, new “smart” appliances may be just what you need. These appliances can connect to your home’s WiFi network so that you can access various settings on the appliances remotely. This means, for example, that if you accidentally leave your stove on, you can access your stove from anywhere in the world so that you can save energy and prevent a fire hazard. Of course, these new appliances have many other benefits, as well, meaning they’re worth considering if you need to replace your existing appliances.
Look to Us For Assistance
No matter what type of home maintenance you need to have for your Seattle home, the pros at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning can take care of you. Offering water heater installation, electrical maintenance and repair, installation, repair, and maintenance of furnaces and air conditioners, and many other services, we put our best efforts into everything that we do. That’s why we consistently receive five-star reviews from our customers. To learn more about choosing the most efficient appliances, contact us at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning today. We proudly look forward to serving your home comfort needs.