As part of our ongoing series about energy efficiency and energy conservation, Vista Energy wanted to directly address the topic of energy-efficient appliances. A cursory Google search for information on how to use less energy at home to lower energy bills reveals articles that recommend replacing old appliances with newer, more efficient models.
You probably aren’t surprised by the most common refrain we’ve heard about those recommendations: “How can I be sure that I’ll lower my energy usage enough to cover the cost of buying new, expensive appliances?”
That’s a fair question, because in some situations, the answer is simply – “It depends.” However, we can provide a more in-depth and satisfactory answer by describing three distinct benefits you can receive by installing energy-efficient appliances in your home.
It’s true. Using newer, modern appliances will help you use less energy in your home – even if your energy usage habits remain the same. The amount you save is what’s relative. Even the most basic appliance made today is more energy-efficient than something made just 5 or 10 years ago.
The real savings come from purchasing devices that feature the blue ENERGY STAR logo. Backed by research and guidance from the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, this technology is designed to use at least 20% less energy than its standard counterpart (which is already more energy-efficient than it was a decade ago).
Again, the amount you save will be relative to how much energy you use currently. If you’re already thrifty and use appliances in good condition, you might not save as much as someone looking to replace ancient ones. So, when EnergyStar.gov reports that "a typical household can save about $575 on their energy bills," they’re telling you that people do save with ENERGY STAR appliances, but the specific amount is dependent upon your home and habits.
Energy-efficient appliances are eco-friendly devices for three specific reasons:
By using less energy, overall utility grid demand is reduced. This means power plants and generators currently using fossil fuels as a majority power source will have lower workloads. By operating more effectively, these devices don’t send as much emissions into the atmosphere. With the increased efficiency in terms of energy usage and waste, key appliances use less water to do their necessary jobs. And when you need less water, you’re using less energy to heat that water.
Vista Energy recommends that you review the devices currently in your home to see if energy-saving upgrades can me made in strategic ways. Our rule of thumb is to start by replacing anything that’s at least 15 years old, because the older the appliance, the more you’ll save with a new one. Any such device of that age is currently wasting more energy than you’d like.
Ultimately, you should do what’s right for you, but when searching for the right energy-efficient appliances for your home, begin with those displaying the ENERGY STAR logo.
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