Home appliances these days have come a long way especially in terms of energy efficiency. Thanks to the federal government’s Energy Star program, it is now easier for consumers to identify which appliances are eco-friendly. So when shopping for new appliances, just look for the easily visible yellow Energy Star label, and there you will see the energy rating of the item in question. The energy rating will tell you if the product you are considering is up to 10 to 15 percent more energy efficient compared to traditional options. The Energy Guide also compares the products’ operating costs with models similar to it, thus providing consumers with much-needed details that can help them make an informed decision.
Home appliances account for 20 percent of a household’s energy consumption, which means the use of energy-efficient machines translates to major savings for the home every year. Here’s an update on how the energy-efficient versions of the most common appliances used in the home are helping consumers.
1. Refrigerators and Freezers
Green models of fridges and freezers are 15% more efficient than traditional models. The energy savings come from the use of more effective insulating materials that do not require as much energy to keep food cool. These also use highly efficient compressors and more precise temperature controls.
To save as much money as possible, however, make sure you buy the right size of fridge for your needs. If a fridge is too large and it is usually only half-filled, you won’t be saving money after all. And if you don’t really need an automatic ice dispenser, make do without one, since an ice dispenser will use 20% additional energy. Also, if you opt for a side-by-side fridge, even the most energy-efficient unit will still use a lot of energy, so unless there’s a specific reason to get such a unit, better choose a top-freezer model instead.
2. Washing Machines and Dryers
Clothes washers certified by the Energy Star program uses up to 35 percent less water and 25 percent less energy than non-Energy Star models. This is equivalent to 700 kWh of electricity and 27,000 gallons of water over the course of its lifetime. Washing machines with high energy ratings achieve more savings by using less detergent and power to clean clothes. They also tend to extract more water from clothes after the spin cycle, which means you also save in terms of drying.
Dryers, however, don’t come in Energy Star versions, since most of them use the same amount of energy. In order to save money, you just need to decide whether to get a gas dryer or an electric dryer. Gas dryers are more expensive to buy, but are cheaper to operate.
A lot of dishwashers are now labeled with the Energy Star seal. On average, these green models uses 10 percent less energy and 20 percent less water than standard models. Green dishwashers make use of special smart sensors that keep the cycle length and water temperature under control as well as more efficient motors to clean the dishes faster and with less water wastage.
Green dishwashers offer the biggest savings when it comes to green home appliances, considering how the average household uses it for an average of 200 times every year.
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