Going "Green" is becoming a much easier task than it was in days gone by! There was a time when going "green" was thought to be too costly or difficult, but in today's world
going "green" has become a necessity for many home owners.
Going "green" is an investment, and like all investments it can take a bit of money up front. But in the long run, going "green" can pay for itself over a short period of time. One
of the biggest changes you can make in your home, is swapping your appliances over to a more energy-efficient brand.
Look for the Energy Star!
In 1992 the EPA introduced a voluntary labeling program called Energy Star to help everyday consumers find the most energy efficient products by simply looking for the star
label. The Energy Star label means that the appliance, office equipment, electronics or even home that you are purchasing meets or exceeds the strict energy-efficient guidelines.
This does not mean that all appliances that carry the Energy Star label are the same, in fact they all can differ very much, compare models and do your homework when
purchasing an Energy Star appliance.
The first appliance that you should swap out to a "green" appliance would be the heating/cooling unit, which is responsible for up to 1/2 of the total energy consumption in your
house. By changing your unit out to an Energy Star label unit can cut your annual energy cost by 20% or more.
The biggest energy gulper in your kitchen is likely to be your refrigerator. If you purchased your refrigerator before 1993, it's time to replace that antique with an Energy Star
labeled refrigerator/freezer. The energy efficient refrigerators use nearly 1/2 of the energy than the older models and have improved insulation, highly efficient compressors and
precise temperature mechanisms that will lower the energy consumption. Not only will a new energy efficient refrigerator model reduce your energy costs it will also reduce nearly 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere annually.
This brings us to the washer and dryer. Washing and drying your clothes makes up for nearly 1/3 of your energy cost. The EPA does not evaluate dryers since the exhaust is about the same in every unit. However, you can purchase a dryer that has a moisture sensor and automatically shuts off when the clothes are dry, this can save 15% on energy costs over a model without a moisture sensor. An energy efficient washing machine not only saves on energy costs but uses 15 to 22 gallons less of our precious depleting water supply per load!
As an aside, plug all of your small household appliances into one power strip and turn them off at night. Appliances such as your T.V., microwave and toaster have a direct current that can leak electricity even when they are not being used. And remember to perform annual maintenance on all of your appliances, keeping them running like the fine oiled machines that they are!