Household appliances account for the majority of household energy use and therefore make up the majority of the electricity bill. If these items are outdated, they may be even more expensive to run. Although the initial investment to replace older models can be expensive, the savings usually outweigh the cost, especially considering the life of most larger appliances. Here are ten devices you should upgrade to reduce your electricity bill.
Look for the ENERGY STAR Label
Although it may sound and look like a trademark, the ENERGY STAR label means that a device has been approved according to the American Environmental Protection Agency's energy efficiency standards. Buying ENERGY STAR appliances will ensure that you purchase a product that not only helps prevent greenhouse gas emissions, but also saves money on your home or business costs.
 Clothes dryer
The clothes dryer is the house's largest energy consumer and eats up more kilowatts than a refrigerator, washing machine and dishwasher together. By upgrading to an ENERGY STAR model, you can save about $ 20 a year and about $ 250 over its lifetime, as they use 20 percent less energy than older models. In addition, they usually have advanced options such as heat sensors, which save money and reduce wear on your clothes.
Upgrading your washing machine can also save big, as ENERGY STAR models use 40-50% less electricity and 55% less water than outdated washing machines. Expect savings of $ 50 a year on water and utility bills and some extra laundry detergent if you buy a front loader because they use less soap. Many stores will have offers to buy a washer and dryer so you can reap the most benefits of your upgrade.
Upgrading your refrigerator can reap huge energy costs – just think, it's constantly running! Although the ENERGY STAR refrigerator uses about 40 percent less energy than older ones, annual savings will depend on what you upgrade to and from. Freezer-top models save the most (about 10-25 percent less energy than a side or bottom freezer), automatic ice makers and dispensers are huge energy drivers and buying the right size for your needs is important. Also, be sure to remove or upgrade your old refrigerator – if you make it a "beer" refrigerator in the basement or garage, all savings will be lost from your upgrade. Check for local or state discounts to recycle your older model.
While dishwashers do not use as much energy as a refrigerator or dryer, they are used regularly and consume both electricity and hot water to run. An ENERGY STAR upgrade can save about $ 25 a year – these models are about 12 percent more efficient than older ones, reducing water and electricity costs. In addition, newer models have some great features such as a third rack or special jets for washing in reusable water bottles!
Microwaves, ovens and ranges
There is no ENERGY STAR label for microwaves, ovens or stoves and ranges (commercial ovens are available). That said, upgrading to newer models can still save you money when you trade out an older model. Although the cost of gas throughout the country may be less expensive than electricity, electric cookers are more energy efficient, as they spend almost 75 percent of the energy used in cooking. A gas stove is used close to 40 percent. Tops with induction ovens are the best option and use 60% less energy than an electric cooker, while cooling food faster.
Range Hoods / Ventilating Fans
While ranges may not have ENERGY STAR ratings, their corresponding fans and hoods! Upgraded models use about 60 percent less energy, which means about $ 60 of savings over the life of the fan. It may not seem like a ton, but every little bit counts. In addition, newer models are quieter and work better when eliminating unwanted odors and moisture when cooking.
Central Air Conditioners
ENERGY STAR Central Air Conditioners have what is called a higher "SEER" (seasonal energy efficiency) than unlabelled products and are about 14 percent more energy efficient. ENERGY STAR air conditioners are about 10 percent more efficient than non-certified models, and they are measured with “EER” (Energy Efficiency Rating). The higher the SEER or EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is. Savings depend on how much you use the device and what type of climate you live in, but will add no matter how often the device is run.
Furnace / Boilers
By upgrading to a high efficiency oven you can save up to $ 20 per month depending on where you live and how much you need to heat your house – these savings are for a medium-sized home in the winter. No matter what your heating needs are, most of the newer ENERGY STAR models have an annual fuel efficiency (AFUE) of about 98, while older furnaces are closer to an 80 AFUE rating, which means an upgrade is sure to save you money directly.
The efficiency of the boiler is also measured by (AFUE), and most ENERGY STAR products are about 87 or higher for oil boilers and 90 or more for gas products. Note – while a fully electric boiler has an almost perfect AFUE between 95 and 100, they are less economical to use, as electricity costs are more expensive.
Like your refrigerator, most water heaters are constantly used for different household needs and are the second highest energy user. There are five main types of water heaters – heat pump, solar water, condensation, tankless and storage tank water heater, which is the most common. Upgrading any of these to an ENERGY STAR model will save you money. However, for most household applications, the tankless water heater is the best option. It only heats water when needed, saving a medium-sized family about $ 100 a year and close to $ 2,000 for the life of the device, compared to the storage tank. An added bonus is the savings in space, as their compact design can be installed directly on a wall.
Dehumidifier  This appliance can be another great energy vacuum, depending on how much you need it. For wet basements or humid climates they may be indispensable, but if you are constantly running you will raise your utility bill. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR model absorbs the same amount of moisture while using 30 percent less energy, thanks to more efficient cooling coils, compressors and fans.
Upgrading your home appliances can be a costly endeavor, but the takeaway is that they ultimately save you money in the long run, especially if you upgrade to an ENERGY STAR product. Always check for local or state programs that reward homeowners with energy-efficient purchases with special discounts. These often include bonuses for proper disposal or recycling of an older appliance. By upgrading any or all of these 10 devices, you can reduce your mains voltage almost immediately.