Appliances that save money

When’s the last time you thought about the energy requirements of your appliances?



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Did you know that your fridge accounts for about 11% of your household’s total energy consumption? I was agog when I saw that stat. While we’re all becoming more energy conscious – and saving money to boot – there are still a whole lot to learn about how to use our resources smartly.

According to Natural Resources Canada, buying an Energy Star® appliance will save you the equivalent of a year’s worth of energy over that appliance’s life. And Energy Star® compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. That’s because standard incandescent bulbs use less than 10% of their energy to produce light; the rest goes up in heat.

It used to be those bulbs were butt-ugly but I recently found bulbs that look like regular incandescents but that have the fluorescent structure inside, making them more attractive for certain fixtures.

Perhaps the appliance that held the biggest surprise for me was the dishwasher; lots of folks think they’re energy pigs. But a dishwasher can actually save energy because you’re using far less hot water. Hot water heating accounts for about 13% of the energy use in an average home.

While we’re on the topic of water usage, a low-flow shower-head can reduce water flow by 60%. If you’re taking 15-minute showers, trim back to 10 and watch your costs come down.

I’m often surprised when I go into homes that still don’t have a programmable thermostat. Turning your heat down just one degree will save you two percent on your heating bill. Ratchet that sucker down when you’re not at home and when you’re sleeping, and rake in the savings.

Microwaves save 50% of cooking energy over conventional ovens (and doesn’t heat up your kitchen in the summer.) Electric kettles are more efficient than either microwaves or stove-top kettles.

If you want to gauge what the various appliances in your home are costing you, head on over to HydroOne’s calculator and play around for a while. You’ll find that your aquarium costs you about $2.45 a month to operate, that having your TV on for 4 hours a day will run you $1.17 a month, and ironing for two hours a day, 8 days a month will burn though $1.95, which is why I gave up ironing years ago!

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