Heating and cooling appliances are big contributors to high electricity costs, along with major kitchen appliances. Read more for tips on saving money with your current appliances, or how to buy a new appliance that will save you money long term.
Estimating the Wattage and Electricity Costs of Your Electrical Home Appliances
- Read the EnergyGuide label. The EnergyGuide label provides consumers information about energy consumption and shows an estimate of the average energy consumption and cost when using a specific model of appliance. The actual costs will slightly be different depending on your usage, though. All appliances are required to have the EnergyGuide label that shows the following:
- Manufacturer, model #, and size
- Estimated operating cost in a year, which is based on the national average cost of electricity and the range of operating costs for comparable models
- ENERGY STAR® logo that signifies that the strict criteria for energy efficiency were met by the appliance model
- Estimated annual electricity usage
- Main features of the home appliance and comparable models
- Use an electricity usage monitor to obtain the readings of how much electricity an appliance is consuming.
- Search for an electrical website that provides a formula on how to calculate annual energy consumption and costs.
- Install a complete home energy monitoring system. An energy monitoring system helps you to measure the electricity consumption of any 120-volt appliances or electronics but cannot be used for 220-volt appliances and electronics. It is available in most hardware stores and costs approximately $25 to $50. Remember to read the manual before installing and using the system.
Buying new? Buy Smart
There are a few factors to consider when shopping for home appliances: the purchase price, the operating cost and the life of the appliance. On average, refrigerators normally last for 12 years, washers and dryers for about 11 years, central air conditioners about 15-20 years, and furnaces for approximately 15 years. Always read the labels and check the features to ensure that the appliance you are buying has a low operating cost.
With the call for energy conservation, some manufacturers offer appliances that they tagged as “smart”. Smart appliances can be connected to home energy management systems or smart electric meters. This helps you switch your electricity consumption to off-peak hours.
Refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers and other appliances may be available as smart appliances. These appliances turn off during high peak electricity demand and use ingenious ways to shift energy consumption.
For example, your refrigerator might hold off defrosting until late evening or off-peak hours. Or your AC may run a little less often. If you live in an area where electricity is lower at night, also known as time-based rates, your electric bills would be much lower. You may not notice it, but this could contribute to significant utility savings. Talk to your utility provider to know more about the availability and advantages of smart grid technologies and time-based electricity rates.
Ensure to have regular appliance maintenance. Inefficient or a malfunctioning appliances will use up more electricity. So the next time you’re having heating and cooling problems, look for American air and they’ll guide you on how to buy, use, and take care of your home appliances!