How to Replace Every Appliance in Your Home With a More Eco-Friendly Alternative

How to Replace Every Appliance in Your Home With a More Eco-Friendly Alternative

Going green and making your home more environmentally friendly can seem daunting. Replacing appliances is one of the biggest steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. With some planning and research, you can replace every appliance in your home with an eco-friendly alternative.

Research Energy Efficient Models

The first step is to research the most energy efficient models for each appliance type. There are now energy efficient options for most major appliances.

When comparing models, look for the Energy Star rating. This indicates the appliance meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and Department of Energy. Also check the estimated yearly energy cost on the EnergyGuide label.

  • For refrigerators, look for models with high efficiency compressors and improved insulation. Top rated ENERGY STAR fridges use at least 20% less energy than the minimum federal standard.

  • For dishwashers, look for a model that is ENERGY STAR certified and uses less than 4 gallons of water per cycle. Features like soil sensors and booster heaters also save energy and water.

  • For washing machines, choose an ENERGY STAR top load washer or front load washer. Front load washers generally use less water and energy. Look for a high CWFT (modified energy factor).

  • For dryers, select a moisture sensor dryer which automatically shuts off when clothes are dry. ENERGY STAR heat pump dryers use 20-60% less energy than conventional dryers.

  • For ovens and ranges, induction cooktops are the most energy efficient. Convection ovens also use less energy than conventional ovens.

  • For water heaters, heat pump and tankless water heaters are energy efficient options. Ensure the model has an EF (energy factor) of .90 or higher.

Consider Smart Appliances

Many appliances now come with smart technology that allows for more efficient use. Smart features like app connectivity and usage monitoring allow you to better track and control energy and water consumption.

Smart refrigerators have cameras inside to view contents remotely. This allows you to reduce refrigerator openings. They also have app features to control temperature.

Smart washing machines allow you to start, stop and monitor cycles remotely. They alert you when a cycle is finished. Some detect load sizes to use optimal water.

Smart ovens can be preheated and monitored remotely. You can start or adjust cooking and track doneness from your phone.

When selecting smart appliances, look for energy saving features like automatic temperature adjustments and sensors that power down inactive appliances.

Compare Costs Upfront

Eco-friendly appliances often have a higher upfront cost but save money long term through energy and water savings. When deciding on replacement appliances, calculate the total lifetime cost, not just the purchase price.

Use online calculators to compare appliance energy use and determine the operating cost over the life of the appliance. Be sure to factor in potential rebates and tax credits for energy efficient appliances when calculating cost.

Over a 10-15 year lifespan, an ENERGY STAR certified appliance will save enough in energy costs to cover any difference in purchase price.

Take Advantage of Rebates and Tax Credits

There are many rebates and tax credits available for U.S. homeowners who buy energy efficient appliances:

  • The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder allows you to search available rebates by zip code. Many utilities and states offer $50 to $200 or more per appliance.

  • Tax credits – The federal government offers tax credits up to $500 lifetime for installing energy efficient equipment including appliances.

  • Some energy companies offer free appliance recycling when you replace an old inefficient model with a new energy efficient one. They will remove and recycle the old appliance.

  • Low interest financing may be available for energy efficiency appliance upgrades. Options include utility company loans and government sponsored programs.

Taking advantage of these incentives can cover 25-100% of the cost difference between standard and energy efficient appliances.

Hire Professional Installation

Seeking professional installation is wise, especially when replacing large appliances like refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers. Ensure proper wiring, venting and plumbing connections.

Only hire licensed and bonded contractors for appliance installation. Review certifications and permits. Verify they follow local building codes.

For help finding reputable contractors, check databases on sites like the Department of Energy and ENERGY STAR. You can also seek referrals from neighbors.

Proper installation ensures appliances run safely and efficiently. It protects your home and maintains warranties. Any installation rebates will also require using a licensed contractor.

Recycle Old Appliances and Buy Used

Instead of sending old working appliances to the landfill, consider selling or donating them to reuse stores like Habitat for Humanity. Some removal services also refurbish old appliances.

If the appliance doesn’t work, use an e-Stewards certified electronics recycler. These meet environmental standards for safely dismantling and recycling electronics. Recycling reduces waste and harmful materials entering landfills.

For additional savings, consider buying high efficiency reconditioned or “scratch and dent” appliances. Compare to new models and verify the warranty. Buying used also keeps appliances out of landfills.

Make Additional Energy Saving Changes

Replacing appliances is a major step, but other small changes contribute to an eco-friendly home:

  • Switch to LED bulbs
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads
  • Improve insulation and seal air leaks
  • Adjust thermostat set points and use smart settings
  • Unplug devices when inactive
  • Limit use of standby modes on electronics

Every change makes a difference! The more you commit to efficiency, the greater impact your home can have.

Replacing all home appliances with eco-friendly models is a worthwhile investment in sustainability. By following this guide and taking advantage of incentives, you can upgrade appliances affordably. A green home conserves resources and reduces environmental impact for the future.