EcoFriendly Appliances Save You Money – And Save the Planet!
This is a Guest Post by Emily Folk
If your home’s utility bills are consistently higher than expected, old appliances are probably to blame. Appliances are some of the biggest sources of energy consumption, so deciding it’s time to replace outdated options with newer, energy-efficient, ecofriendly appliances could make a big difference. There are several things you can do to locate products that are kind to the planet and help you use less energy.
Look for ENERGY STAR and Energy Efficient Appliances
If you need to buy new appliances, it makes sense to buy energy efficient ones. How do you know if they’re efficient and will save you money? Nearly all countries have a labelling system that makes it really easy to see.
In the US, look for the yellow Energy Star label. In Europe, seek out A+++ appliances, or 6 star units in Australia, for example. These are appliances that meet or exceed minimums for ideal energy usage. They’re usually clearly marked with Energy Guide labels, and a salesperson can probably point you in the right direction, too.
You can identify and buy ecofriendly versions of clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers and refrigerators, for example.
Some of these ecofriendly appliances may be more expensive than you’d imagined. However, when deciding whether to purchase, remember that you’re making a long-term investment that could help you save money for years.
Opt for Gas-Powered EcoFriendly Appliances — Especially Stoves
Although you may find some exceptions, gas-powered appliances are usually more efficient than electric ones. That’s especially true for stoves and water heaters. An electric stove is very ineffficient compared to gas, and a gas stove reacts more quickly too so you have better control over your food. Using a gas stove lets you avoid wasting energy while cooking.
Or you could really go green and choose induction cooking – it’s extremely energy efficient, and the choice of many top chefs around the world.
Consider Components Including Insulation and Solar Panels
There are numerous enhancements make your home more ecofriendly that don’t relate to appliances. For example, think about whether there are parts of your home that don’t remain at a consistent temperature because they’re not well insulated.
In winter for example, you want to stop warm air from escaping, making your home’s heater more efficient. So look at areas of possible heat loss, such as windows, doors and even garage doors.
Many people also consider getting solar panels installed on their roofs. Is that too big of a commitment to make right now? Did you know you can now buy a solar-powered refrigerator?
You don’t need to know a lot about ecofriendly appliances to know that products powered by the sun are smart picks. And even if you don’t live in a sunny climate, it may still be good to use solar power – panels don’t need constant sunshine!
Buy From Companies That Pledge to Protect the Environment
After recognizing that many customers purposefully buy products that protect the planet, forward-thinking manufacturers began creating dedicated sections of their websites and other marketing materials that detail their ongoing commitment to making products in environmentally sustainable ways.
However, companies do not always agree on what makes a product kinder to the planet than another. In the refrigeration industry, appliance makers work towards building sustainable products in several ways. Some of them use energy-efficient insulation, while others create freezers that are easier to dispose of at recycling centers.
Before buying an appliance, go to the manufacturer’s website and see if you can find an environment-related mission statement. Study it carefully to see exactly what the company does to meet goals and see if the various procedures listed there match your ideas about how to safeguard Mother Earth for current occupants and future generations.
And also check to see what they don’t mention – there may be something that’s important to you, that a company doesn’t do.
These actionable tips should help you feel more equipped when choosing eco-friendly appliances.
Before finalizing a decision about any new product, consider looking at product reviews, especially those published on websites with an Earth-friendly slant.
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Have you deliberately purchased ecofriendly appliances? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. Don’t forget to download your free green living handbook “Live Well, Live Green” here.