As more people become concerned about the state of the natural world, the demand grows for eco-friendly updates in the home. Adding eco-friendly appliances to a residence reduces the output of dangerous chemicals and reduces strain on the surrounding environment. Below are five appliances every homeowner should consider when making environmentally friendly home improvements.
1. HVAC Equipment
Of all the appliances in a typical home, heating and cooling systems require the most energy. That’s why they are among the most important appliances a homeowner can replace in order to protect the environment and save money. Energy efficient HVAC equipment is available through all major manufacturers, including Amana, Carrier, Rheem, Goodman and Trane. When choosing HVAC equipment, homeowners should look for air conditioners with high seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER) and heating equipment with more than 90 percent efficiency.
With the exception of HVAC equipment, a home’s refrigerator requires more energy than any other appliance. Replacing an older refrigerator with a newer, more efficient model is beneficial both to the environment and to the homeowner’s pocketbook. When replacing a refrigerator, homeowners should look for models that are Energy Star qualified, which means they use 10 to 50 percent less energy than a standard model. Examples include the Ice2O from Maytag, the Elite Side-by-Side from Kenmore and the GE CleanSteel Side-by-Side.
3. Washing Machines
Today’s eco-friendly washing machines are capable of using up to 73 percent less water and almost 80 percent less energy than their older counterparts. By purchasing a newer machine, homeowners can reduce their overall energy consumption, use less water each month and save money on both bills with one simple change. Many of these newer washings machines are also easier to use and produce better results than older models. Examples of environmentally friendly washing machines include Whirlpool’s Duet Steam Aspen washer, the LG 7-cycle front-loader and Frigidaire’s 5-cycle front-loader.
4. Ovens and Cook Tops
In the past, most kitchen appliances cooked food using convection. However, cook tops and ovens that use induction instead of convection to heat food are much more efficient. They not only heat food faster, but they also produce less heat overall, thus dramatically reducing the amount of energy used during meal preparation. And because these appliances produce less heat, they keep the kitchen cooler and more comfortable during cooking.
Dishwashers consume a lot of energy and water, especially when used on a daily basis. However, by replacing an older dishwasher with an Energy Star qualified model, homeowners can conserve energy and reduce water consumption significantly. Many of these models include technology that allows them to detect the volume of dishes in the machine, as well as how difficult they will be to clean. The machine can then determine the amount of water and water pressure required to thoroughly clean the dishes. Examples of energy efficient dishwashers include the Maytag Built-in Tall Tub dishwasher, the Frigidaire Precision Select 24 and the Whirlpool Gold, which is 17 percent more efficient than required by Energy Star guidelines.
Creating a home that’s entirely eco-friendly is a long process, but replacing inefficient appliances is a good starting point for any homeowner. By replacing these larger appliances first, homeowners can begin reducing their energy consumption as quickly as possible.