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3 essential energy-efficient upgrades to save on bills

Living room with fireplace insert

Becoming a homeowner is an incredible accomplishment, but it can come with its own set of challenges. It’s natural for different appliances to wear over time and need repair or replacement. When it does come time for home upgrades, it’s important to know which will offer you the most benefits so you can get the most bang for your buck. We looked at three of the top energy-efficient upgrades that will help you keep more money in your pocket when it comes to your utility bills. For more on the best energy-efficient upgrades for your home, check out this article.

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Tankless water heater

With a tankless water heater, your water supply is heated on demand which can help reduce your energy bill by up to 34%. You have the option to install an electric tankless water heater or gas tankless water heater, depending on your preference or the utilities available in your area. According to studies, electric tankless water heater systems are cheaper to purchase, but gas models tend to run more efficiently and save you more money over time.

Top tankless water heater brands

  • Rinnai: one of the most popular and reliable brands, some Rinnai smart models will even adapt to your hot water usage patterns and schedule recirculation as needed.
  • Rheem: high-efficiency tankless water heaters that will save you up to 33% annually; they also have WiFi-enabled smart models.
  • Stiebel Eltron: though less common, they've been a leading provider in the industry since 1924.

Energy-efficient air conditioner

Whether you have a window air conditioner, portable air conditioner, or a central AC system, you need to make sure your system is efficient or it can be really expensive to run. Each type of air conditioner has its benefits, downsides, and associated costs. Weigh all of your options to determine the solution that is most efficient and cost-effective for you:

Window air conditioner: Probably the most common type of air conditioner—window units are good for renters since they can be moved, but they only cool a dedicated space. They also require some installation, but not as much as a ducted AC system. It will cost you less money upfront, but it won't be as energy-efficient as a central unit.

Portable air conditioner: this kind of air conditioner is the least efficient, but it’s also the cheapest. If you’re aiming for efficiency, you’ll likely have to pay a bit more for a higher-quality model. You'll end up replacing this kind of unit more frequently, so keep that in mind as you're weighing the costs.

Ducted AC system: central air units usually costs the most to install, but they will run the most efficiently and save you money over time on utility bills. The ductwork is the key to efficient cooling, so if you have an older system and haven't checked the ductwork recently it could be well worth your time.

Top air conditioner brands

  • LG: LG air conditioners are up to 25% more efficient than what is required for an Energy Star certification.
  • American Standard: American Standard is a well-known brand that has options to fit any budget.
  • Rheem: already mentioned above, this brand is focused on developing energy-efficient appliances that save you money and benefit the environment.

Fireplace inserts

Did you know that up to 90% of the heat from your wood-burning fireplace escapes outside instead of making it into your home? When you install an electric fireplace insert or gas fireplace insert, it creates an air-tight seal and redirects up to 85% of that heat back into your home. This means that your heating system won’t need to work as hard either to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

If you don’t have an existing chimney, you can always opt for a ventless fireplace insert option.

Top brands for fireplace inserts

  • Classic Flame: Classic Flame offers affordable options for fireplace inserts, many available for around $300.
  • Dimplex: Dimplex offers a lot of great energy-efficient options for fireplace inserts at around the $300-$400 range.

You will find many high-end brands like Vogelzang, Empire, and Napoleon, and while they offer options that are energy efficient, they aren't very budget-friendly. Home Depot has a broad selection of fireplace insert brands to fit any budget, with options for both electric and gas fireplace inserts. This Dimplex Built-in Electric Fireplace will run you $385, and you can add two years of MulberryCare protection for only $38.99. 

Before you buy, install the Mulberry extension

As with any appliance, you should always make sure you’re informed about any warranties that are included or available for your products. Instead of worrying about how you might cover costly and unpredictable repairs down the road, add an extended warranty like MulberryCare to your purchase. With affordable extended warranty options, you won't break the bank now, or your bank account down the road if your appliance breaks. Install the extension to get alerts while you shop online - it's that easy to add product protection with Mulberry.


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Kim Miller

About the author

Kim Miller is the Head of Consumer Marketing at Mulberry. She is passionate about building products and brands that make consumers happy, save them money and make their lives easier. Have an innovative idea for Mulberry you'd like to share? Give her a shout! She'd love to chat about anything from fintech and UX to gardening and antiquing.

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