It’s starting to get hot in Michigan. With the A/C turned on full blast in homes from Auburn Hills to St. Clair Shores, many homeowners are wondering how to reduce their electricity bills this summer. We’ve all seen the Energy Star ratings on new appliances — but what does appliance efficiency mean and how can someone decide which appliances are priorities for increasing efficiency?
The first thing you should understand is about watts, which are displayed on products from stereos to dishwashers. This indicates how much energy the appliance will use. Your energy bill is then calculated by kilowatt hours. Calculate savings on appliance use with the following:
(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption
The rate per watt varies by utility company and can differ across the country depending on the utility provider and time of day the energy is consumed.
So which appliances use the most watts and therefore cost the most money per year?
Many small household appliances like toasters, stereos and ceiling fans are on the lower end of watt usage. They typically demand less than 200 kWh per year. The heavy hitters for electricity usage are refrigerators, water heaters and heating and cooling systems. Investing in energy efficiency in these appliances will have the most impact in reducing your monthly electricity costs. For example a window A/C unit can use about 1200 watts whereas a central A/C system can use upwards of 5000 watts of energy.
There are also behavior changes you can make to increase your energy savings without having to invest in new appliances. Maintenance is an important factor of energy efficiency. Another way to reduce energy use is by watching out for “phantom loads” which happens when appliances draw energy even when switched off. Prevent this by unplugging appliances when not in use or using a power cord with an on/off switch. You can also reduce the load on your AC with these tips.
Call Aladdin Heating to find out what steps you can take to calculate savings through more efficient use of your appliances.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Detroit, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about calculating savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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