Buying new appliances from a physical store or over the Internet can quickly become a challenge when you consider the huge variety of styles, colors, and features that are on offer today. The task gets even more difficult when you really want an appliance that not only meets your aesthetic needs but also fits into your life ethos of saving energy (and the planet) wherever possible.
Energy Star rated appliances undergo various testing methods to eliminate wastage and are often one of the best choices for a green appliance. Here we’re going to take a look at some of the things you need to be aware of when searching for the most energy-efficient appliances for your home, and the steps you can take with your existing appliances to save energy, time, money, and the environment.
How to choose energy-efficient home appliances
Dishwashers that were constructed in the 90s and are still in use today cannot match up to the newer more efficient dishwasher models that are being sold more recently, and the amount of wastage from these is shocking. Not only do these outdated models cost the owners more each year in utility bills, but they are also wasting gallons and gallons of water in every cycle.
Newer dishwashers like Zanussi and Samsung have been designed with many features to prevent excess water from being used in the process, and they also consume less electricity during use. This has a positive knock-on effect on the global climate as it prevents harmful greenhouse gases from being created through excessive power usage. When you buy a dishwasher check the water and power consumption beforehand otherwise you could be adding unnecessary expenses to your annual bill.
New technology has been developed specifically for dishwashers in a bid to reduce waste. Some models have a soil sensor that tests how dirty the pots and pans are, and then alters the amount of water used to give a great clean every time. In conjunction with this, innovative racks have been designed so the plates and cutlery are positioned strategically to allow quicker dirt removal as well as having more powerful and efficient spray jets. Water filtration systems have also been employed in more recent dishwashers which clear any food debris in the bottom of the system, allowing clean water to cover the crockery instead of unfiltered and contaminated water.
Perhaps one of the biggest culprits in the modern home for energy waste, refrigerators are constantly working to maintain a certain temperature level so in effect they’re always using power. Old refrigerators can be filled with harmful gases that destroy the atmosphere when released, but the new models have been designed with harmless substances to maintain the cooling needed- using up to 40% less energy than a traditional one.
LG and Kenmore are just two of the companies which manufacture energy-efficient refrigerators and have received praise for the environmentally-friendly way their products function and are built. Energy-saving features in many Energy Star rated models go above and beyond the regular energy use required to run, instead of using the same power as a light bulb in some cases to keep things chilled.
Dual fridge freezers are another great option, many of which use the coldness of the freezer to cool the fridge so no energy is wasted in the process. Around 15-18 cubic feet is the typical model size which works best for saving energy, anything larger and the power has to work extra hard to chill the extra space. Leaving your fridge open for a long period of time not only makes the appliance think it’s trying to chill the whole room, but it’s also a surefire way to send your energy bills rocketing.
Televisions are one of the areas where leaps and bounds have been made in energy efficiency, having come a long way since the days of old tubes and wasteful wiring. Energy-efficient modes are now available on many flatscreens and Plasma TV’s, with the simple press of a button used to lower the lighting when not needed, and auto turn-off features utilized after a period of non-use.
Green features have been built into even the simplest of TV models, with Automatic Brightness Controls (ABC) which act of their own volition to adjust energy according to the exterior light. Local dimming is another key feature which words with LED and OLED technologies, producing deeper blacks to enhance visual effects and save energy at the same time.
Pre-set picture quality features can also be enabled which keep your TV in a low-energy state when viewing certain types of TV- dramas, cinema, or sport for example. High definition TVs use slightly more power than other makes, but even Energy Star rated HDTVs can be found which have sharp pictures and use very little power.
With each household in the country competing at least 300 wash cycles for clothes in an average year, there are many gallons of water and trillions of kilowatts being used each week. It is then no surprise that modern washing machines, even the standard ones, have been fitted with features which reduce both water and energy wastage.
Energy Star rated machines use around 10 gallons less per load than a traditional machine, but you’re guaranteed to be raising your water and electricity if you are making use of a machine that is over 10 years old. New technologies, including a higher spin speed to reduce moisture, are implemented into most new designs which are becoming increasingly popular because they have no central agitator which often slows the cleaning process.
When choosing the most efficient model for your home, consider the IMEF and the IWF. A high IMEF (integrated modified energy factor) and a low IWF (integrated water factor) give you the best possible outcome. You can wash conveniently for years without worrying about excess water wastage and high energy bills, whilst at the same time protecting the environment with your savvy buy.
Buy with the future in mind
Many manufacturers make big claims about the energy efficiency of their products which later turn out to be embellished or simply untrue. Getting the right appliance for your needs requires careful research beforehand to determine the energy-saving features it possesses, in addition to the aesthetic value and functionality it provides day to day- and long into the future.