Go Green

When you consider the average kitchen and laundry usage makes up almost 50% of your overall home energy usage, it makes sense to research your purchase from the prospective of both energy usage and efficiency.  To get you started, the items below can give you some fundamental ideas about selecting appliances and thinking green.

When it comes to the environment, there are at least two things we can all agree upon. That increased efficiency and using less energy are both good paths to take when choosing appliances. They will, of course, save you money in the long run and will reduce the burdens on our environment.

Look at the Energy Star Rating - When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags:  what you pay to take it home, and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 15–50% less energy and water than standard models*. The money you save on your utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive yet more efficient ENERGY STAR model.

Washers and Dryers: On washing machines, the ENERGY STAR label is only on washers that meet efficiency guidelines for both energy and water. The water efficiency is based on the “Water Factor,” which is the gallons of water used per cycle, per cubic foot (for example, a 3.0 cubic foot washer using 27 gallons per cycle has a water factor of 9.0). The lower the water factor, the less water the machine uses.  All ENERGY STAR qualified  washers must have a water factor of 8.0 or less. There is no ENERGY STAR rating on Dryers as there is currently little difference in drying efficiency.  However, using your dryer sensor for automatic shut off, and spinning clothes at a higher rate (greater water extraction), can still save energy and money.*

Dishwashers: Did you know that replacing a dishwasher manufactured before 1994 with an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher can save you more than $30 a year in utility costs. ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use at least 41 percent less energy than the federal minimum standard for energy consumption, and they also use much less water than conventional models. It’s also a good idea to run your dishwasher with a full load.

Refrigerators: New refrigerators and freezers are dramatically more efficient than old models – even when the old models operate perfectly. In addition, since compressors wear out and door seals start to leak, refrigerator and freezer performance tends to degrade over time. While the exact energy use depends on your particular model number, on average refrigerators manufactured before 1993 cost between $50-$150 more per year!

Think Green on the simple things: Can you use a cold water wash for certain things? Are you using HE (High Efficiency) laundry soap with your front load washer? Are you using too much soap in your appliances? Can you reduce the amount of bleach in your laundry routine?  Have you considered going from a top load washer to a front load washer? Have you tried the “Quick Wash” options on your Washer and/or Dishwasher to see if shorter cycles can meet your cleaning expectations? Clean lint filters on dryers after each usage. Remember that simple actions can make a big difference. If just one in 10 homes used ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, the change would be like planting 1.7 million new acres of trees.*   Source www.EnergyStar.Gov