Many homeowners have been there: We wonder why our electric bills are so high or our appliances are suddenly performing poorly. In these situations, you may consider repairs and upgrades – or simply replace the appliance.

Along with improved performance, better efficiency motivates many homeowners to take the step, especially as newer models come with energy-saving features. Considering appliances alone account for 13 to 20 percent of your home’s total energy consumption, you could see larger savings down the road.

Just how much could that be? According to figures from the EPA, newer, more efficient models use anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less energy and water. But, better performance and a greater return on your investment can vary with the type of appliance.

Air Conditioning

By default, air conditioners built today consume less energy than they did 20 years ago. Yet, many homeowners hold onto these older models. How can you tell if the system is more efficient? New models come with a number indicating their energy efficient ratio (EER) or measure of the system’s efficiency. Modern options typically rate 11 or higher, while something decades old typically has an EER of 6 or 7. Making the replacement automatically reduces how much energy your home uses to cool your rooms.


If you were to break down your home’s energy consumption by appliance, refrigerators typically account for one-third of the total amount. Percentages go up if your refrigerator is more than 20 years old and doesn’t comply with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program. Switching to a newer model – and one aligning with the EPA’s standards – is said to reduce related costs by 50 percent on average.


Switching to a dishwasher with an ENERGY STAR® rating can also result in significant savings: Up to 25 percent! Newer models perform better using less water – just 5.8 gallons per cycle, compared to 10 gallons for older models – and place fewer demands on your home’s water heater. As a bonus, you’ll find it tends to run more quietly.

Washer and Dryer

Of this pair, shift your focus to the washer, as dryer performance offers minimal energy savings. By contrast, energy-efficient washers can reduce consumption by half and, like your dishwasher, drastically reduce the amount of water used – anywhere from 15 to 22 gallons per load.

Hot Water Heater

Another energy-consuming appliance, your hot-water heater makes up 25 percent of your monthly bill and, like other home appliances, has newer energy-friendly alternatives. While an upgrade will result in sizeable savings, cost is another factor to consider. Newer hot water heaters are priced at $1,200 on average, making them a high-dollar upgrade. As a solution, home improvement experts recommend repairs like additional insulation and regular maintenance to improve performance and increase savings.

If you’re in the market for an energy-efficient home, why not consider the properties in By Carrier’s central Connecticut communities? To learn about our custom homes, give us a call today.

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