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Tina Rataj-Berard
Swapping These Common Home Appliances Helps The Environment And Your Wallet

Before 1976, the average kitchen refrigerator used 2,200 kWh, helping to catapult America’s energy market to the third-largest industry in the country. Nowadays, with so many people and companies working to reduce our reliance on energy grids and lower our carbon footprints, new appliances are doing much better at sucking less off the grid: Today, a brand-new, “CEE Tier 3” energy-efficient fridge will only use 425 kWh. Switching from an old dinosaur of a refrigerator could save you more than $238 each year.

Appliances are the number one contributor to your energy bill and swapping them out for more efficient models is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint, lighten our load on the energy systems in our towns and regions, and save a bundle of money over the next several years. If you’re considering switching to renewable energy sources, using less is a great way to ensure your solar panels or wind turbines will be enough to power your place day in and out.

Ecofriend aggregated some of the biggest energy hogs, highlighting four appliances you may want to consider swapping out sooner rather than later.   

Turn your thermostat “smart.”

If you have central air or heat, almost half of your utility bill is going toward regulating the temperature. By using “smart” thermostats, you can program different temperatures for times like overnight, while you’re away, or during work hours.

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Total savings? Up to 10 percent of your energy bills a year. Check out Nest, Venstar, and Honeywell if you’re looking to make the change.

Invest in an LED television. 

Granted, the best way to save energy and money on television is to not have it in the first place. But let’s say that you’ve already gotten rid of cable and now you’re just using the TV for movies and binge-watching a few favorite shows when you’re sick or the weather outside is terrible.

Plasma televisions have nothing on LEDs, which operate on a fraction of the power and can save you upwards of $50 a year. That’s almost enough for a year of Netflix.  

Get a tankless water heater. 

Tankless water heaters warm water up as you need it, as opposed to your classic water heater, which stores water in the tank 24/7 while drawing energy to maintain a constant temperature.

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Going tankless will save energy and money, while taking up less space. If you're shopping around, be sure to take a look at the offerigs from Rheem, Eccotemp, and Takagi.

Switch your furnace to gas. 

Electricity is innately difficult to produce and uses a lot of resources, most especially if it’s being sourced from coal. Natural gas is far more efficient than electricity, as natural gas can be delivered to you raw without first having to be converted, and is easier to transport than electricity.

Switching from an electric furnace to gas may save you up to $1,700 a year, according to one CNBC report. Just be sure to do your research first! Find out whether you have supporting duct work in place, and what the natural gas costs are in your area.  

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