The 5 Least Energy Efficient Appliances
With all the large appliances that reside in today’s homes, we are spending a lot of money on energy bills to run these appliances. We may be spending more money than is necessary, in fact. There are ways to cut back on the energy our appliances use; let’s discuss the top five least energy efficient appliances and ways they can help us save money on the monthly energy bills.
Refrigerator: The fridge works to keep its contents cool, at the cost of more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Is your refrigerator near the stove, dishwasher, or heat vents? Move it away from them, if possible. Being close to a heat source only makes the fridge work harder to cool down. Every three months, vacuum the coils or wipe them clean to increase energy efficiency. Fortunately, there are newer models that are much more energy-efficient; if your refrigerator is older than 1994, consider purchasing a new model.
Washing Machine: The washer clocks in at nearly 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year, and washing with warm water rather than cold can cost you up to $150 more every year. Be sure to match the water level on your washer to the load size – don’t fill it up for a small load. The new front-loading models, while they may cost more money initially, will actually save you more money in the long run by consuming less energy.
Clothes Dryer: While it may not use as much energy as the washing machine, the clothes dryer is another major contributor to energy costs. Want to save a lot of money? Hang your clothes on a clothesline to dry. If nothing else, take them out of the dryer ten minutes early and finish drying them on a clothing rack. That’s right: Just ten minutes can save on costs. And remember to clean the filters on your dryer after each use to minimize energy costs.
Dishwasher: Yes, it does use more than 500 kilowatt-hours per year. However, unless you are running it half-full, using a dishwasher can actually be more energy-efficient than washing dishes by hand. To save money on dishwashing, make sure each load in completely full. Do not pre-rinse dishes – instead, scrape them and let the dishwasher do the rest. These simple changes in habit can save you a large chunk of change each year.
Desktop Computer: Consuming over 500 kilowatt-hours per year, the family computer can be an energy hog, even when it is not being used. To reduce energy used, use the sleep mode rather than letting the screensaver take over. Even better, turn it off altogether and unplug the machine – besides, as with people, it is healthier for the computer if it is able to truly rest every night.
By Tonya Hillukka
Feb 18, 2011