Home & Kitchen Appliances Overview
Approximately 17% of your total energy bill comes from using major home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers or washers/dryers. Furthermore, for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used or wasted, power plants release an average of 1.34 pounds of CO2 into the environment.* When looking for a new appliance make sure it has a federally mandated bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label on all energy efficient appliances which will provide you with the annual energy consumption and cost of that appliance so that you can determine which is the most energy efficient for you. When in doubt, you can also just look for the Energy Star label which is symbol of energy efficiency created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers save money and minimize air pollution.
It’s very important as a smart, cost-conscious consumer you make the correct decision when buying a energy efficient appliance, such as a refrigerator, because for the most part, you will have it for a while. In fact, on average a refrigerator last about 14 years. Consider a top freezer model as they are the most energy efficient and repair-free of the configurations offered, followed by bottom-freezer models. Side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, while more convenient, are more likely to need repair and can use roughly 7% to 13% more energy than top-freezer models. And when in doubt, chose an Energy Star rated refrigerators which uses about 20% less energy than conventional machines.*
Washer/dryers are some of the most inefficient appliances in your home, but the good news is that with the right model, you can save a substantial amount in energy and savings. When selecting a washer/dryer, select a washer with variable spin times as faster spin cycles rid clothes of more water and aid in drying times resulting in less heat and energy consumption. In addition, try to choose a model with a mini-basket which is a small tub that fits inside the regular basket so you can wash very small loads to minimize water and heat usage. Also, you can reduce your dryer’s energy use by choosing a model with a moisture sensor which can shut the dryer off automatically when the clothes are dry. Lastly, Energy Star washer/dryers are 37% more energy efficient and use approximately half of the water of traditional washers.*
Did you know that on average your dishwasher lasts 10 years? When looking for a replacement, look for models with several cycle selections (ie. light, medium, or heavy) so if your dishes don’t need heavy-duty washing, you can use a light or energy saving cycle and use less water. Also, try a model with an air-dry feature (as opposed to a heat/dry feature) as this will cut down on energy consumption. New Energy Star rated dishwashers can save you 13% on energy and as much as 1,200 gallons of water a year.*
*source: www.energystar.gov & www.energy.gov
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