Cut Home Energy Costs by Switching to ENERGY STAR® Certified LEDs and Appliances

Spring is here, which means it's time to upgrade your lighting and appliances. Find out how you can save by switching to energy-efficient models.

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The following content is created in consultation with Mass Save. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NECN's editorial staff. To learn more about Mass Save, visit MassSave.com.

Now that spring has sprung, it's time to clean the house. But in addition to mopping the floors and washing the windows, we should also be checking to see which light bulbs didn't survive the winter and which spring-focused appliances should be replaced.

Fortunately, this is an ideal opportunity to choose lighting and appliances that will cut your electric costs and reduce your energy consumption. All you have to do is choose products bearing the ENERGY STAR® label, which guarantees they've undergone rigorous third party testing to assess their energy use and performance quality. By doing so, you'll save money and protect the climate through improved energy efficiency.

So what should you replace and how much could you stand to save? Let's take a closer look.

Outdoor Lighting
We all suffer from a case of cabin fever following a long winter, and time outside can be just what the doctor ordered. Quality outdoor lighting can help extend your time outdoors, making your porch or patio an extension of your kitchen or dining room. 

But chances are you didn't replace that burned-out flood light above the garage this winter because you didn’t want to get the ladder out while it was icy. That means now is the perfect time to replace that incandescent bulb with an ENERGY STAR certified LED. Because these bulbs are over 80 percent more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, just one ENERGY STAR certified LED bulb can save you more than $100 on energy costs over its lifetime. And with enough durability to withstand a wet, cold New England winter, outdoor LEDs won't burn out on you when the snow falls next winter.

Luckily, all this energy efficiency doesn't come at a higher cost. LED prices have dropped dramatically in the last five years, from over $20 per bulb to close to $2 per bulb. Massachusetts customers are able to save even more when they purchase ENERGY STAR certified LED lighting thanks to discounted prices supported by the sponsors of Mass Save. 

Room Air Cleaners
While we all love spring, we could do without the seasonal allergies. One of the most effective ways to reduce allergens is by using a room air cleaner (i.e. air purifier), which removes fine particles such as dust, pollen, smoke and pet dander from your home’s indoor air. That's a big help in late March and April, when it's typically not warm enough to throw open your windows.

Unfortunately, traditional room air cleaners are inefficient and expensive. A non-certified model operating continuously can use approximately 60 percent more energy than a new refrigerator. Avoid the added expense and reduce your energy consumption by opting for an ENERGY STAR certified room air cleaner, which is 40 percent more energy-efficient than a standard model. Over the span of its life, a certified model can save more than $250 on home energy costs. And you can save an additional $40 on ENERGY STAR certified room air cleaners thanks to the rebates offered by the Mass Save sponsors. 

Dehumidifiers
In Massachusetts, we're no strangers to months of humidity. But that doesn't mean we should just deal with it. Humid homes are breeding grounds for mold and mildew, which over time can irritate allergies, create musty odors, and cause damage to your home and its contents. 

By using an ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier, you'll remove the same amount of moisture as similarly-sized conventional models but use 28 percent less energy. That equates to more than $300 in energy cost savings over the unit's lifetime. To maximize your savings, choose a unit that is appropriately sized for the space and moisture level of the room where it will operate. You can also get a $30 rebate on ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers thanks to the sponsors of Mass Save.

Appliance Recycling
As you're cleaning your house this spring, whether you're upgrading or getting rid of an old unit that’s been sitting in the garage or basement, look for opportunities to recycle that old appliance. Recycling appliances allows materials to be reused rather than ending up in landfills. This can help reduce supply chain costs for new products and -- in the case of appliances with environmentally hazardous refrigerants -- help reduce our environmental impact. 

Mass Save’s refrigerator and freezer recycling programs offer participants no-cost haul-away and $50 in return for their old unit. Mass Save also offers periodic dehumidifier recycling events. Eligible participants can drop off their old dehumidifier, fill out a rebate form, and receive $30 in return.

Visit MassSave.com to learn more energy-saving tips and to discover savings, discounts, and rebate opportunities brought to you by the sponsors of Mass Save.

More From Mass Save:

Ask the Experts: Does Energy Efficiency Affect Property Value

Finding Outdoor Lights That Are Up to the Job

Breathe Easy With Improved Indoor Air Quality This Allergy Season 

Protecting Your Basement from Spring Thaw

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