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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Restroom hand dryers have long had a reputation for being more environmentally responsible than paper towels, and it’s true. Paper towels create excess waste, and small businesses can use hand dryers to slash annual operating costs significantly.
The US Energy Information Administration estimates the average annual electricity consumption of a US home is 10,399 kilowatt hours (kWh), and depending on where you live or how you receive energy, a year’s worth of energy can really add up. But what many homeowners don’t know is that their home could be working against them
Commercial exterior lighting is a necessity for most small businesses. Lighted storefront signs indicate you’re open for business, while outdoor lights attract customers and provide security lighting for your property.