8 Best Appliances for Your Energy-Efficient HomeRoss and Witmer
Whether you love spending time in the kitchen or you’d rather leave the cooking to someone else, you can make your kitchen a greener space with an energy-efficient refrigerator. Older fridges can be expensive energy hogs, thanks to inefficient cooling and lighting systems. In fact, Energy Star estimates that refrigerators over 10 years old cost homeowners almost $5 billion in utility fees. Replace your outdated refrigerator, and you can save hundreds in energy costs over the appliance’s lifetime.
New Energy Star-certified refrigerators are available in a range of sizes and have plenty of features to excite you. Choose a model with a freezer on the top or bottom, keep produce fresh for longer in crisper drawers, get ice on demand, and organize cans and beverage bottles in designated areas. No matter which fits your budget and your kitchen, you can rest assured that Energy Star-certified fridges are at least 9 percent more efficient than those that just meet the minimum energy efficiency standards.
When you go shopping for refrigerators and any other appliances, be sure to look for the Energy Star label. This blue label confirms that the appliance exceeds efficiency standards outlined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Appliances with this label contribute substantial energy savings while still offering advanced features and that will benefit your home. Energy Star-certified products may have slightly higher price tags than less efficient products, but Energy Star products easily make up for the added cost with savings on your utility bill.
Dishwashers might seem like they last forever, but if you have one that’s more than 20 years old, you’re wasting costly energy. Newer Energy Star-certified dishwashers help you save an average of $35 per year on utility costs.
That’s not all, though. Dishwashers produced more than 20 years ago waste 10 gallons of water during each cycle. If you do one load of dishes per day, that’s over 3,500 gallons of wasted water over the course of the year.
In addition to saving both water and energy, new Energy Star-certified dishwashers also boast the most advanced technology. Tired of prewashing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Look for a new model with soil sensors, which determine how dirty your dishes are and adjust cleaning power accordingly. Don’t want to deal with soap scum on your clean dishes? Seek a dishwasher equipped with advanced filtration for sparkling dishes.
Like dishwashers, clothes washers waste substantial energy and water if they rely on outdated technology. In fact, if you have a washer that’s over a decade old, you’re spending about $180 per year on unnecessary water and energy.
Clothes washers with the Energy Star label use an average of 40 percent less water and 25 percent less energy than standard washers. Those percentages translate to a savings of about $40 per year in energy costs and over 3,000 gallons of water per year.
In addition, Energy Star-certified washers typically have greater capacities, so you can wash more clothes at once. If you’ve ever felt like you were stuck doing laundry all day long, this feature should be music to your ears. Most newer washers also feature advanced options like multiple wash motions, improved cleaning power, and even sanitization options.
When you live in the Gastonia area, ceiling fans can be lifesavers during the summer. While they don’t lower the temperature in a room, they create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel cooler.
Though they can’t replace air conditioning entirely, ceiling fans can decrease your need for energy-intensive cooling. When you use a ceiling fan, you can typically dial back your thermostat by 4 degrees and still feel just as cool and comfortable.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to install one in each room where your family typically spends time. Bigger is better, since larger fans with bigger blades have the capacity to move more air. Look for Energy Star-certified units for a 20 percent boost in efficiency over standard models.
Heat pumps have the power to cool your home in the summer and heat it in the winter. They’re known for their ability to remove excess humidity from the air, which means they can be more efficient than air conditioners during the summer. In the winter, heat pumps may lower your electricity usage by about 50 percent compared to furnaces and other standard heating systems.
At Ross & Witmer, we recommend taking energy efficiency to the next level with an Infinity 20 Heat Pump with Greenspeed Intelligence. This Energy Star-certified heat pump has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of up to 20.5 and a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) rating of up to 13.0, making it one of the most efficient heat pumps on the market. Since it has variable speed technology, this model runs at a low level for most of the day and kicks into high gear when necessary, without wasting energy.
Can’t decide if you should upgrade your old heat pump, air conditioner, or furnace? We offer advanced home assessment and testing services to determine the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. From indoor air quality tests to blower door tests to air duct efficiency tests, our experienced technicians help you identify what’s working efficiently and what needs improvement.
Even the most energy-efficient heat pump, air conditioner, or furnace won’t help you reduce your energy consumption effectively without a smart thermostat. These handy devices enable you to program your HVAC system to heat or cool only when necessary. You can save up to 10 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs just by dialing back your thermostat by about 10 degrees for eight hours a day. In doing so, you could save significant energy and over $100 per year by turning the device back while you sleep or when everyone’s out during the day.
Some of our more advanced models, like the Carrier Infinity Touch smart thermostat, work seamlessly with the Infinity 20 heat pump for maximum energy savings. Download the smart thermostat’s app onto your smartphone, and you can even change the temperature or receive filter replacement reminders on the go.
Our Nest thermostat offers even more smart capabilities, as it learns your family’s heating and cooling preferences. This device works with many heating and cooling systems, so saving energy can be as simple as replacing your old thermostat with a Nest.
Gastonia homeowners are no strangers to humidity, especially during the summer. What you might not realize is that high humidity is more than just uncomfortable. It can also cause your HVAC system to waste energy.
Heat pumps can help handle excess moisture, but we know that sometimes you need a device that’s even more focused. A whole-house dehumidifier works with your HVAC system to pull extra humidity from the air while helping the entire system work more efficiently. This means your home will feel more comfortable without your cooling system having to kick into overdrive.
From dust to pet dander to tobacco smoke, keeping the indoor air clean isn’t easy. If your family deals with allergies, asthma, or contaminated indoor air, you don’t have to be stuck using energy-intensive air cleaners.
Instead, consider installing a whole-home air purifier. Like a dehumidifier, a whole-home air purifier works with your HVAC system to remove pollutants like pollen, mold, dust mites, and even pathogens from the air. Our air purifiers remove up to 95 percent of the pathogens in your home’s air supply, keeping your indoor air quality high while keeping energy consumption low. These efficient devices can even kill harmful pathogens upon contact, helping you stay healthy all year-round.
Whether you need a more energy-efficient cooling system or you want to upgrade your smart thermostat, we’re here to help. Call your local HVAC pros at Ross & Witmer today at 704-392-6188.