Less than a couple decades ago, energy efficiency in the household was an optional feature you might or might not have opted to introduce. Nowadays, though, with the rapid progress of global warming and climate change, as well as the growing scarcity of natural resources, environmentalism has become a pressing matter every mindful homeowner should take seriously.
However, it’s not just about aiding the preservation of the environmental or conserving finite natural resources, it’s also about making long-term financial savings for your family budget. The biggest change you can make in your home is to change your spending habits and optimize your appliances for maximum savings. Here’s how to achieve just that.
Upgrade Your Old Appliances
It should go without saying that old appliances have no place in a modern household. Time-worn appliances are wasting vast amounts of water and energy in an attempt to run the simplest of programs and keep up with their contemporary counterparts, in turn costing you money and resources on an annual basis.
Instead of wasting money and harming the environment, you could replace old appliances with modern units that boast an Energy Star rating, detailing their level of eco-friendliness and saving potential. Modern appliances also come with smart software and programming, allowing you to scale your energy and water use for maximum savings without sacrificing effectiveness.
Take Proper Care of the Refrigerator
The refrigerator is among the most wasteful amenities in the modern household. It’s always running, it can consume vast amounts of energy, and if not used properly or maintained on a regular basis, it can put a serious dent in your household’s budget. Assuming that you have a modern refrigerator that works properly, there are a couple more things you can do to optimize its performance.
First, you can position it away from direct sunlight and heat-generating appliances. Allow adequate air circulation behind the fridge as well, and keep the settings between 35 to 38°F. Next, tend to thorough cleaning and decluttering on a monthly basis in order to remove food residue buildup and allow the interior to cool properly.
Rethink the Dishwasher
Aside from the refrigerator, the dishwasher could be hurting your budget significantly if it’s old and faulty, or if you’re using it in a wasteful way. Keep in mind that modern dishwashers could help you make substantial financial savings, so follow this latest dishwasher buying guide if the time has come to upgrade your old unit.
Once you have a smart dishwasher in place, there are a couple of steps you want to follow in order to ensure water and energy efficiency. Firstly, understand that modern dishwashers do an excellent job at cleaning the dishes with cold water, so consider running primarily cold washing cycles. Only use the dishwasher when full to make good use of the water and energy expenditure, and be sure to select the no-heat drying setting.
Furthermore, if you are seeking a lower ambient noise level in your home, you will find many of the new range of dishwashers to be utterly silent or nearly so as they run.
Cook with Energy-Efficiency in Mind
Firstly, keep in mind that smart stoves, ovens, and smaller appliances are built with energy conservation in mind, so use them to your advantage. Keep the appliances clean to avoid heating up caked stains and food residue, and preheat the oven only when necessary. You can also combine smaller appliances such as microwaves and slow-cookers to minimize energy consumption. Lastly, try to defrost food naturally instead of in an oven or a microwave.
Be Smart on Laundry Days
Last but not least, optimizing your washing machine use could help you make long-term financial savings and reduce your energy bills. Given the fact that hot water accumulation in a washing machine is responsible for 90% of its energy expenditure, it would be a wise and financially-savvy idea to run loads on low-heat settings only or completely cold settings whenever possible.
Make sure to only wash full loads and adjust the temperature accordingly. Instead of overusing the dryer, you can dry your clothes the al fresco way. If you absolutely need to dry your clothes fast, at least clean the lint trap before turning the dryer on and adjust the settings according to the amount of clothes in the load.
As home appliances are becoming smarter with the rapid integration of technology into our daily lives, it becomes the duty of every mindful homeowner to rethink their energy and water use. Making these changes will help you minimize expenditures in your home, and allow you to pave the road to a more eco-friendly future for the generations to come.
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.