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Reducing Your Energy Consumption
Reducing your home energy costs is not as difficult as it may seem. We are all sold on new ways to save on costs as a fight against energy companies, through alternatives like solar, LED lighting, new energy efficient computers and TV’s, attic insulation, HVAC and so much more.
But what if I could teach you some ways you could reduce how much you pay to energy companies just by understanding more about what you already have in your home. Purchasing new things that will reduce costs is definitely not the issue and is encouraged, but lets look at saving money with what you already have in your home first.
The first thing we want to look at before anything is identifying which appliances have the “Energy Star Certification” stamp of approval on your appliances. Generally speaking, if this certification is not on your appliance this might be the first red-flag as it means it is an old appliance or might have not passed the test because it used cheap and energy draining parts which was cheap upfront, but costly down the road.
The second thing before we dive into the real tips is identifying the age of your appliances. Old appliances past its usual lifespan needs to be taken care of, either through replacing its parts or replacing the appliance as a whole.
With that being said, lets dive deep into real appliance saving tips.
Appliance Energy Tips & Strategies
This is a tip for new refrigerator buyers and to bring awareness to current refrigerator owners. The way your refrigerator was built, and the location of your freezer can determine how much energy is consumed from your fridge.
Here’s what I mean.
There are generally 3 types of refrigerator types, top-mounted, bottom-mounted, and side-mounted each with its own pros and cons. Refrigerators come with a similar build, where all the ‘major parts’ are located at the bottom back of its build.
Top-mounted are freezers placed on-top of your refrigerator that is located away from the ‘major parts’ and are considered the most energy efficient types. However compared to bottom-mounted and side-mounted, these are less energy efficient for the reason that it is closer to these ‘major parts’.
These major parts consists of parts like compressors and evaporators which are all high in temperature used to turn liquid refrigerant (coolant) into gas to then be circulated by the evaporator fan.
Now because these ‘major parts’ are high in temperature, image if they were located near the freezer? The high temperature would need to use more energy to compensate for the cold air that comes from the freezer. This extra effort causes your bottom-mounted refrigerator to burn more energy and as a result cause your monthly energy bill to increase.
Stoves & Cooktops
Gas and electric stoves/cook-tops are often the two options homeowners will decide between, but we forget that there are many other alternatives that might be better suited for what they are looking for.
Gas stoves are often chosen over electric ones because natural gas is cheaper than electricity and it is much easier to clean and control temperatures. However electric stoves are cheaper as a upfront investment, are easier to use, and are considered safer than gas.
While gas and electric stoves do have their pros and cons, I want to introduce a new type of stove which are known as induction stoves. Induction stoves are still electric, but use less electricity at a much faster rate.
Induction stoves only heat up your cooking ware and food, and don’t heat up the counter-top because of a physical mechanism known as electromagnetism. The heat is only attracted to ferrous cooking ware which are cooking pots and pans which are made of our iron. While a traditional electric stove can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to heat and cook a meal, induction stoves take 1-2 minutes while cooking the food much faster, and is able to change temperature much quicker.
Comparatively, induction cooktops are 35-60% more energy efficient as quoted by many researchers.
Microwaves Vs. Toaster Ovens
Microwaves are sort of a standard when it comes to purchasing kitchen appliances, but what we are going to see today is how it differs between toaster ovens and oven ranges.
Microwaves get the job done a lot faster than any kitchen appliance because it uses radiation to heat-up water molecules in the food to heat the dish more quickly. Now although it heats up food faster, it doesn’t always taste the best compared to cooking or baking it in a toaster oven or oven range.
This comparison is fairly easy to tell even when cooking. A oven takes 5-10 minutes to pre-heat and will take another 30-40 minutes to cook a meal if not longer.
Now if we were to compare these 3 alternatives, we find that the toaster oven tends to provide the highest quality meal for the right amount of energy. It doesn’t cost or use as much as a microwave, and it uses natural gas to cook your meals making it more fresh than just warming it up.
We will be adding to this list as we come up with more innovative ideas for homeowners to reduce their energy costs and life healthier lives using their appliances. Hope this helped!