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Do You REALLY Need to Buy Energy Efficient Appliances?

Unfortunately, appliances don’t last forever. When the time comes for you to replace your home appliances, you may be wondering if energy efficient appliances are the way to go. Though energy-saving appliances may require more of an up-front investment, they often pay for themselves over time when it comes to monthly home energy savings. Read on to learn just how much energy (and money) you can save on energy efficient appliances and find out if these appliances are really worth the money.

Why You Should Consider Energy Efficient Appliances

On average, your home appliances, such as your clothes washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, and freezer, account for about 20 percent of your home’s total electric bill. This means that if you are looking for places to cut home expense costs, your appliances are a great place to start. Energy efficient appliances can help you decrease energy usage and cut down on monthly costs.

You may be wondering if you really need to purchase new appliances to save on your monthly electricity costs. Though there are simple changes that you can make to use your appliances more efficiently, like unplugging those not in use and monitoring usage throughout the week, you can only save so much energy with careful use. Energy efficient appliances, such as those made by ENERGY STAR, help you consistently cut down on energy usage to lower your monthly bills each month.

Typically, energy-saving appliances use anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less energy each year than their conventional counterparts. If you consider that the average home appliance lasts for about 10 to 20 years, then you know that making the upgrade to newer, more environmentally-friendly appliances can amount to a significant savings over time.

The Costs of Energy-Saving Home Appliances

There is no question that energy efficient home appliances will help you decrease your energy usage and save more money over time. However, homeowners also need to consider if the money they will save over time is worth the cost of purchasing and installing the brand new, energy-saving appliances. Fortunately, there is a calculator for that!

EnergyStar.gov has created a page with some helpful calculators to help homeowners determine if energy efficient appliances are worth the investment. Their Cash Flow Opportunity calculator helps translate energy savings into tangible financial numbers so that homeowners can get a better idea about whether or not making the upgrade to energy-saving appliances is right for their family. This page also offers calculators for commercial property owners who are considering upgrading to energy efficient appliances in their office buildings or other commercial properties.

Are you interested in saving even more money on your monthly home costs with an energy-saving HVAC system? If your current heating and air conditioning system is old and outdated, then you may want to consider a newer, more energy efficient model when it comes time to replace it. For more information about the equipment we have available, call: (951) 663-4895.

 

How Low Can a Heat Pump Go?

Heat pumps are gaining in popularity as a viable alternative to conventional HVAC systems. They allow home heating and cooling with far less energy use than older types of environmental systems.

Heat Pump Basics

Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one area to another – from outside to inside during cold times and inside to outside during hot periods. They are able to heat and cool homes with little energy expenditure, because they do not create heat or cold, only move it.

There is a downside to heat pumps. They are not effective enough to use in climates where the temperature drops to, and stays, well below zero. There simply is not enough heat for them to work with outside to increase temperatures inside to comfortable levels.

Types of Pumps and Temperature Effectiveness

Some types of heat pumps are better able to handle cold temperatures than others are. Heat pumps come in three main types:

  • Air-source heat pumps are the most common type in use today. These pumps draw heat from the air surrounding them. When optimized for cold temperatures, they maintain their full heating effect down to 41° degrees Fahrenheit and can still produce heat at 60 percent effectiveness at 17° degrees.
  • Water-source heat pumps draw heat from water and can work at lower temperatures than air-source pumps. They are able to keep functioning at lower temperatures because the pipes used to extract heat are laid at the bottom of a body of water where it is somewhat insulated.
  • Geothermal-heat pumps are set into the ground at a depth that maintains a relatively steady temperature all year. This allows them to function in all but the absolute coldest conditions, but also makes them more expensive to install than other types of pumps.

While these are the three main types of heat-pump systems, there are other, newer models:

  • Absorption heat pumps. These pumps use heat as an energy source rather than electricity. This heat can be derived in many ways – solar-heated water, burning propane or natural gas, or geothermal-heated water. Depending upon the pump’s specific heat source, they can continue working in a range of cold temperatures.
  • Hybrid heat-pump systems. Hybrid systems combine two types of heat pumps into one HVAC system. Most often, these systems combine air-source heat pumps and geothermal-heat pumps. A hybrid system will use the more energy-efficient air source pump until the temperature drops to a point where it loses effectiveness, and then the geothermal pump will begin providing heat. These systems can work in any temperature at which a geothermal pump would function, but they are cheaper to operate. The initial cost of installing a hybrid heat pump system, though, is very high.

Heat-pump technology is making these systems cheaper, more effective, and better able to withstand extremely cold temperatures. More people are acknowledging the benefits heat pumps have over traditional HVAC systems and are switching to these newer, more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. For more information on heat pumps, call the HVAC experts at J&M Air Conditioning and Heating.