Which Energy Source is Best for Your Appliances?
The pros and cons of the top three appliance power energy sources
When shopping for any new appliance for your home, your wish list might include features, colour, size or capacity. But have you also considered how best to power it, in your home?
Traditionally, larger domestic goods such as ovens or dryers tend to be available in a choice of gas or electric. However, as energy efficiency becomes higher priority for eco-conscious homeowners, solar power continues to rise in popularity, with many smaller solar items such as toasters or lamps entering the market.
To help you choose the right power source for your home’s appliances, we have narrowed down the pros and cons of each in this easy guide.
Appliances powered through electricity have been the norm for decades.
Nevertheless, as it attempts to keep up with continually growing consumer needs – while also offering the maximum energy efficiency – the heyday of electric appliances may soon be over. Today, the choice between electric and other energy sources instead boils down to other personal preferences such as convenience or your individual cooking style.
Electric – the pros
Keen home bakers may prefer an electric oven over a gas one since they tend to heat more evenly. Kitchen newbies might also appreciate the ease of use that an electric oven offers, not to mention the easy-to-clean smooth surface of an electric stove.
An electric tumble dryer is a good option for those on a budget, since they are more cost-effective to buy and to install – especially if you plan on moving to a new property in the not-too-distant future. Plus, while gas dryers will require a vent on the outside, most electric dryers do not.
Electric fireplaces are likewise a good choice over gas alternatives, since they are more efficient – thus keeping your heating bill more reasonable – and they stay cool to the touch, making them a safer option if you have young children at home.
Looking to add a grill to your outdoor space? Electric grills are not only smaller than those that use gas, but they also maintain a constant temperature, giving you more control as you grill.
Electric – the cons
While appliances powered by electricity are more mainstream, this energy source does have its downsides.
For one, electric appliances may not offer you the same experience as those powered by other sources. An electric fireplace, for instance, will not offer the same crackling flames as a gas fireplace, while an electric outdoor grill will not offer that charcoal-infused smokey flavour or the portability of a gas grill.
Then there is the safety risk inherent in all electric devices since they pose a slight fire or electrocution risk if they are not properly installed or maintained.
Today’s home goods market offers a wide choice powered by natural gas, particularly when it comes to larger appliances such as ovens or grills.
Gas – the pros
In the long-term, gas tend to be cheaper than electricity – especially in Malta where gas is sold by the cylinder instead of through the grid, as per other European countries.
If you want your new appliance to be more eco-friendly, gas is the best choice here too. Gas dryers use up to 30 per cent less energy than their fully electric counterparts, reducing your carbon footprint (not to mention your utility bill!).
Cooking enthusiasts may also appreciate a gas oven or stove, which are easier to maintain and heat up faster.
Gas – the cons
Although gas appliances may be cheaper to operate, they can be expensive to buy. And that is just the purchase of the item itself – if you also need to convert an existing electric system over to gas, the initial cost of gas appliances can grow higher still.
However, the bottom line with gas appliances may be the safety risk they pose. When purchasing, it is important that you also install – and regularly test – a carbon monoxide alarm in your home and ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Smaller solar-powered home devices can already be found on the market, such as microwaves, lamps or toasters.
However, the advent of solar power has not yet made larger solar appliances as commonplace as electric or gas versions, but it’s rising popularity could soon change that.
Solar – the pros
Once installed, solar can not only transform how you power your appliances, but it could also raise the value of your home.
Aside from providing reliable, renewable and clean energy – in a Mediterranean country that enjoys around 300 days of sunshine per year – solar can also save you a lot of money on utilities in the long-term. And since your property is generating its own energy source, you will be less impacted by any power outages.
Solar – the cons
The biggest drawback to solar power remains the expense of installation. Aside from the high upfront investment in the photovoltaic panels, you also need sufficient space to install them – and you may not be able to take them with you should you move.
Even after installation, you may be unable to run the household solely on solar, since some appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines are not suited to it due to their high energy consumption.
The RE/MAX takeaway
Your RE/MAX agent can help you to choose the best appliances – and the best energy sources – for your home. Get in touch today at www.remax-malta.com.