Why you should consider ENERGY STAR for every purchase:
Buying Energy Star appliances is a great way to save money. Every appliance comes with two costs: what it costs to take it to buy it and what it costs to operate and maintain it each month. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies and use 10 to 50 percent less energy than standard appliances. In this article we are talking about large appliances, but did you know heating and air conditioners can be Energy Star rated as well as some small appliances, windows and light bulbs? Look for the label to know you are getting a product made better than today’s energy standards. To earn the ENERGY STAR label manufacturers have to continue to improve as every few years they adjust the minimum required standards. For example CFL light bulbs no longer meet the ENERGY STAR requirement, for home use you’ll find nearly all bulbs will be LEDs.
Why consider Energy Star?
- Lower Your Utility Bills. Appliances account for nearly 20 percent of the average household’s energy use. A home of ENERGY STAR appliances can save nearly $100 a year in energy costs compared to standard appliances.
- Improved Quality and Durability. Energy-efficient appliances often include quality components surpassing those found in standard appliances. These can result in fewer mechanical problems, longer equipment life, and in many cases extended warranties. This is where people looking for energy efficiency really benefit; manufacturers tend to incorporate efficiency in the better products so there isn’t an up charge strictly for efficiency.
- Enhanced Performance. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances often outperform standard appliances due to improved design and advanced technologies. For instance, some ENERGY STAR qualified appliances include features that decrease operating noise and heat, while others include technologies that reduce water use. Reduced noise and heat are a key benefit of most Energy Star appliances because both take energy to create. As manufacturers look to reduce energy consumption they often look to produce less noise and heat as both are wasted energy consumption.
OVERVIEW OF ENERGY STAR SOME TYPES OF APPLIANCES
REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS
ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use up to 40 percent less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001 and at least 15 percent less energy than models built to current federal standards. These refrigerators feature high-efficiency compressors, improved insulation, and more precise temperature and defrost mechanisms. ENERGY STAR qualified
freezers use at least 10 percent less energy than required by current federal standards. Want to know how much you would save by switching to an ENERGY STAR? [Click Here for Calculator]
TIPS: Leave space between the refrigerator and walls to allow air movement and brush (or vacuum) refrigerator or freezer coils regularly to maintain efficient operation, recommend cleaning under the refrigerator every time you change or clean your HVAC filters. Due to the design of most refrigerator coils, if you let it go too long it becomes a significant task to clean, especially if you have pets. Refrigerators along with light bulbs are some of the few items that can make sense to replace a working appliance with a new one. This happens often with the forgotten refrigerator in the basement or garage, it is often 25+ years old and can pay for itself just to be replaced.
ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use at least 41 percent less energy than the federal minimum standard for energy consumption. These dishwashers use “smart” features such as
effective washing action, energy-efficient motors, and sensors that determine the necessary cycle length and water temperature.
TIPS: Use short wash cycles for everything but the dirtiest dishes. During the cooler and dryer months, crack open the door and let your dishes air dry. If you have a well sealed home, air drying your dishes won’t be a good option.
CLOTHES WASHERS & DRYERS
ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers use 40 to 50 percent less energy and about 55 percent less water than standard washers. As a result, you can expect to save up to $50 per year on utility and water bills, with additional savings from using less detergent. Most ENERGY STAR qualified washers extract more water during the spin cycle, providing further energy savings when using a clothes dryer because drying time will be shorter. Also, owners will see less wear and tear on clothes from front loading models, which do not need an agitator. ENERGY STAR clothes dryers will typically have a moisture sensor to turn off the heater elements when your clothes are dry instead of running out the clock.
TIPS: Use the correct amount and type of detergent; too many bubbles will make the machine work harder than necessary. Modern high-efficiency detergents perform well with cooler temperature water and there are even some that operate with cold water further enhancing your savings by not using hot water at all.
Your Energy Auditor or Energy Rater will document the age and type of appliances and include this in findings and recommendations. Your Energy Auditor is also a great resource to discuss the benefits of ENERGY STAR in your home. To learn more about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov.