Are things running a little slow around your house? Your appliances might need an upgrade this year if you want to keep your home operating, so take a look at some of the changes we’ suggest for the coming year:
Your refrigerator should be upgraded if you’re worried about spoiled food or a bloated energy bill. Look for an energy-efficient refrigerator that runs well on relatively little power, and your home can store the fresh food you need to make everyone happy. If you purchase meat and other food items in bulk to save money, it might be worth buying a separate freezer to preserve extra items and minimize spoilage.
What are you using your computer for? Do you even need a home computer anymore – could a tablet or cross-over meet your needs? If you are mostly using your home computer for web browsing, social media, e-mail and simple word processing, switching for a tablet may help simplify your life. If computing power is important to you – consider upgrading your operating system and check out post-holiday sales and flash deal sites to save big!
Your washing machine is probably another appliance whose performance you take for granted. Your clothes are no doubt coming out relatively clean, but if you’re using an older model, you’re probably missing out on energy efficiency and time-saving features. Many newer machines offer cold water settings which, in combination with cold water detergents use less energy and get your clothes just as clean. Seeing high dry cleaning bills? Look for a machine with a steam wash setting to freshen up delicates in between dry cleaning. And don’t forget to look for Energy Star Qualified appliances to save money and protect the environment.
Your cable box… seriously! There are new options that could actually replace your cable box in 2015 and make cutting the cord a change that won’t cause a mutiny in your household. Streaming services are on the rise in the US. Average households increased their use of streaming services 60% as of December 2014 according to Nielsen. And they would know!
Finally, light bulbs – while technically not appliances, if you haven’t switched to CFLs yet, its 2015 and now is the time to finally make the change. CFLs use about 75% less energy than traditional lighting and will help save money on your electric bill. If you are feeling jazzy, there are programmable LED bulbs that change colors at the click of a button… pretty great for when you need some mood lighting. Don’t forget to use timers to help ensure lights turn off when they are not in use even if your “helpers” forget.
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Television watching is the most popular leisure activity in America: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 80% of Americans watch an average of 2 hours and 46 minutes of TV every day. Television energy usage accounts for 7% of energy consumed in American households.
Small businesses use energy for a myriad of reasons. Lighting, security, manufacturing, heating and cooling, and electronic equipment all consume large amounts of energy.
Small-business owners know that maximizing their energy efficiency can make a big difference in their business. New technologies are rolling out every day, and business owners can now use data to identify the best opportunities to give them an edge in competitive marketplaces.