In this article, plumbing heating and air expert Palo Alto reveals the signs that indicate your water heater is suffering from sediment buildup and what you can do about it.
A lot of appliances have made incredible leaps over the past few years towards energy savings, so now is a smart time to replace them. If you are deciding whether or not to upgrade your home’s major appliances, think about the following figure: Major appliances are responsible for about 13% of your household’s total energy cost. This means that investing in newer, energy efficient appliances is a smart way to save money in the long run.
Below, we’ve outlined a few of the top picks in home appliances that are worth the upgrade.
Dishwashers are often overlooked for their potential energy usage, but the older the model the more water and energy it will use. An Energy Star dishwasher uses approximately 5 gallons of water per wash cycle, whereas as an older dishwasher can use up to 10 gallons of water. And, since a dishwasher uses energy to heat the water, a newer energy efficient model can save money on that cost as well. On average, a new Energy Star Dishwasher can save approximately $40 per year on energy bills, and approximately 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime! Cost for upgrade: $500.
Older washers use a top load function, where water fills up from the bottom of the unit, but a newer energy efficient model—which is loaded from the front–uses approximately half as much water and over 30% less energy. With a newer energy efficient washer, you could save approximately $150 per year on electricity and water. Cost for upgrade: $500 to $1000.
Hot Water Heater
If you have an older water heater, a replacement could be beneficial to you for energy savings. A typical water heater uses about 15 to 20% of home energy consumed yearly and newer energy efficient gas models can save you up to 30% a year in energy costs, while a tank-less or gas-condensing water heater could save approximately $100 per year. Cost for upgrade: $300 to $1200.
Whether you are using a central air conditioner, or a window unit room by room, these appliances are known to use a lot of energy. If you are using an older system—one that is older than ten years old—this is even more true. Air conditioners are measured with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), and the higher the number, the more efficient the system. The lower the number, the less efficient your A/C, not to mention, it becomes a money sink for energy costs. These days, energy efficient models can boast a SEER rating of 20+, which is far more efficient than most older systems that hover around 13. Cost for upgrade: $3,000 to $7,000.
There are there different types of furnaces available on the market, and like an A/C, the older the unit, the less efficiency you’ll get out of it, which leads to higher energy costs. Low efficiency furnaces feature a continuous pilot light, and mid to high efficiency models have an electronic ignition and better management of heat storage and exchange. If your furnace is older than 15 years, it’s smart to consider an upgrade in addition to having your ductwork insulated, which can further benefit energy efficiency. Cost for upgrade: $2500 to $6000.
For both air conditioner and furnace replacement, check out this handy Energy Savings Estimator to see how much you can save with an HVAC upgrade.
Convinced You Could Benefit from an HVAC System or Water Heater Upgrade?
Give us a call today. We specialize in air conditioners, furnaces, and water heaters and can help you determine the best, most energy efficient comfort solutions for your home while staying within your budget. Call today to find out more: (650) 856-3400.