How Replacing Your Old Appliances Can Reduce Your Home Energy Consumption
With the focus on sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint, homeowners may be surprised to learn that the best place to start is at home. Heating, air conditioning and hot water account for the biggest sections of your monthly energy bills. If your appliances are old and need replacing, getting new and energy efficient ones may make a big difference and help you in your quest to lower your bills and reduce your energy usage. Your local general contractor residential can help you make the transition, which is better for your bank account and better for the environment.
Newer appliances are more energy efficient
Older appliances can be the domestic version of gas guzzlers. This is partly because once they stop functioning efficiently, they need more power to keep going. Old water heaters alone can account for up to almost one third or 30% of your energy bills. The other reason why older appliances feel like such an energy drain is the contrast with newer models.
Due to stricter regulations and efforts by manufacturers, new appliances like tankless water heaters and energy efficient air conditioners and furnaces use much less energy than the older models. For example, new gas furnaces are required by law to achieve at least 78% efficiency, and some new models go as far as 97% or almost total efficiency. Newer air conditioners too are much more energy efficient.
Should you replace your old appliances?
If they’re old and worn out, the answer to this question is yes, absolutely. You’ll not only better functioning appliances, you’ll see a significant drop in your energy consumption and bills. High efficiency air conditioners can reduce your home cooling costs by anywhere from 20 to 50%. You can combine this with other steps to insulate your home to keep the cool air from leaking out. Your local general contractor residential can also advise on other energy-saving measures.
If you decide to install a tankless water heater, you’ll see some real energy savings too. That’s because tankless water heaters only produce hot water on demand, unlike older model water heaters that store up to 40 gallons of hot water all the time. Your local general contractor residential can help you make these changes.
Other steps to reduce energy usage
Shade trees can help to cool down a house, as can an awning over windows that get direct sunlight. Curtains at doors and windows add a nice touch to your home decor, and they also work as insulation. Better insulation can help to retain heated and cooled air within the home. It can also block leaks and drafts from the outside, keeping the home at a comfortable and consistent temperature.
Then there’s the phantom menace that you may have heard about, namely that when you leave appliances and electronic devices plugged in, they use energy even if you’re not using them. In fact they drain energy even if they’re not switched on, so long as they’re plugged in. One simple solution is to invest in power strips with an on-off switch and to plug your devices into the power strip. This way you can switch off the power when the devices are not in use.
Homeowners are learning that sustainability begins at home, and that their local general contractors residential can help them achieve this goal. New energy efficient appliances will lower your utility bill and they’re also better for the environment.