1. How do the appliances in my home affect my personal emissions? Lights and appliances consume about 7,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the average western home and account for about 22 percent of household emissions, excluding automobile emissions. The percentage of total household emissions accounted for by lights and appliances varies by province because they almost always use electricity. The emissions from electricity vary a great deal from one province to another. Because lights and appliances produce almost one-quarter of household emissions, finding ways to reduce lighting and appliance energy consumption can reduce your personal emissions quite a lot. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce appliance energy use.
2. How does the age of my refrigerator affect my personal emissions? Refrigerators use more energy than any other home appliance. However, manufacturers are building new refrigerators that are more and more efficient every year. A refrigerator that is more than 15 years old consumes almost three times the electricity - and therefore produces three times the emissions - of a fridge built today. On average, fridges built between 5 and 15 years ago consume twice the electricity and produce twice the emissions of a fridge built today. Faulty parts can also cause a refrigerator to consume more energy than normal. However, replacing the parts inside the refrigerator to make it more efficient can be as easy as a DIY job, rather than calling in the professionals. The higher energy efficiency of modern fridges has been accomplished mainly through better insulation and better seals around the doors. Other changes, such as more efficient motors and compressors (the device that makes the air cold) and better design have also improved the efficiency of refrigerators.
3. How does the fuel my stove uses affect my personal emissions? Stoves that use natural gas as their fuel rather than electricity have been making steady gains in the market over the past few years. Natural gas stoves may produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electric stoves. Using a gas stove will produce more greenhouse gases than using an electric stove, but electric stoves add to the amount of nuclear waste produced in the province. Natural gas stoves cost substantially less to operate, and are more energy efficient than electric stoves. In addition, many people find it easier and more pleasant to cook with natural gas.
4. How does the fuel my dryer uses affect my personal emissions? After the refrigerator, the clothes dryer consumes the most energy of any home appliance. Clothes dryers that use natural gas rather than electricity are gaining in popularity, mainly because they are much cheaper to operate than electric clothes dryers. Natural gas dryers may produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electric dryers. Using a gas dryer will produce more greenhouse gases than using an electric dryer, but electric dryers add to the amount of nuclear waste.