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Buying green appliances can cost a little more, but they help you save money over time by reducing how much you spend on gas and electricity. If you’re interested in spending less on utilities, consider adding these four high-efficiency appliances to your home.
Depending on where you live, your refrigerator probably uses more energy than any appliance in your home. After all, it’s on all the time. Luckily, refrigerators have become much more efficient over the last few decades. In 1974, the average refrigerator used about 1800 kWh per year. By 2010, that number fell to about 500 kWh per year.
If you have a recent model, then you probably won’t benefit much from buying a green refrigerator right now. If it’s more than a decade old, though, upgrading can pay for itself within a few years.
According to the EPA, operating a water heater is your home’s second-largest expense. If you have a standard electric model, then you can expect to spend about $525 per year. A standard gas model will cost a little under $400 per year.
Those costs fall by more than 50 percent when you switch to high-efficiency appliances. The average ENERGY STAR-qualified electric water heater costs about $275 to run, while ENERGY STAR gas models cost a little less than $200 per year to use.
If you aren’t ready to buy a new water heater, you can improve your current model’s efficiency by using an insulation blanket and turning the heat down.
A central air conditioner can consume 15,000 watts in just one hour. For most households, that costs about $1.50 per hour. Energy-efficient central air conditioners use about 15 percent less electricity than standard models. If you run your A/C for three hours a day, then you’ll save about $20 per month by switching to a green model.
Experts agree that you’ll get the biggest savings by replacing central air units that are more than 15 years old because the technology has improved significantly. If you’re using an old model, then you’re facing expensive bills during summer that you could immediately lower by having a newer unit installed.
Choosing green appliances can help lower your bills and protect the environment. You’ll get more benefits, though, by replacing some appliances sooner than others.