Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Importance of Energy-Efficient Appliances

Save Money, Save the Earth

Every time you buy a home appliance, tune up your heating system, or replace a burned-out light
bulb, you're making a decision that affects the environment. You are probably already aware that
most of our biggest environmental problems are directly associated with energy production and
use: urban smog, oil spills, acid rain, and global warming, to mention a few. But you may not
realize just how big a difference each of us can make by taking energy use into account in our
household purchasing and maintenance decisions.
The cost of using appliances and heating and cooling equipment averages more than $1,200 per
year. You can sharply reduce your energy bill by using high-efficiency appliances and space
conditioning equipment. While these may be more expensive to buy than comparable models
with lower or average efficiency, your reduced energy bills will put that money back into your
pocket long before the product wears out.
By purchasing energy-efficient appliances, you can also have a positive effect on national
security, the economy, and the environment. The efficient use of oil, gas, and electricity improves
U.S. economic competitiveness, and reduces the environmental pollution associated with energy
production and use.
In fact, choosing energy-efficient appliances is one way you can immediately reduce your
contribution to global climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary gas affecting global
warming and virtually all energy-using equipment results in CO2 emissions either directly or
indirectly. Since burning oil or gas in your furnace creates CO2 directly, choosing a more efficient
furnace will reduce this pollutant right from your home. Furthermore, coal or gas is burned in most
power plants to create electricity and this produces emissions. By replacing a 20-year-old
refrigerator with a new, energy-efficient model, not only will you save about 800 kWh per year,
you will also reduce your home's CO2 contribution by about one ton per year—all while saving
more than 100$ per year through reduced electric bills.

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