With appliances using nearly 20% of your home’s energy, how do you go green with energy hogging appliances? Choose wisely – Energy Star appliances are up to 50% more efficient, and while they may cost more initially, you’ll save in the long run.
Energy Star is a voluntary labeling program introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote energy efficient household products which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Each product must meet guidelines outlined by the EPA and the Department of Energy, and products are identified with a blue Energy Star label.
Choosing a new Energy Star refrigerator will save you nearly 50% in energy costs when you’re replacing a 15-year old model. With the refrigerator being the biggest energy hogging appliance – that can add up. Other energy saving tips:
- The most energy efficient refrigerator is the standard top freezer model.
- Purchase an appropriate size for your needs – bigger is not necessary better for the environment.
- Frost buildup increases the amount of energy needed to keep the motor running, but on the other hand, automatic defrosters use more energy. The most eco-friendly choice is manual defrost, but not necessarily the most convenient.
Stovetops and Ovens
Currently, these appliances aren’t Energy Star qualified, mainly due to the heating they need to do before even begining to do the job of cooking. There is just no way to make ovens more energy efficient, but necessity is the mother of invention, so expect more eco-friendly options in the future. In the meantime,
- Consider a convection oven which is fan forced that circulates heated air evenly. They use nearly 1/3 less energy and cook foods more quickly.
- Check the energy guide label to determine annual energy consumption.
Energy Star dishwashers use nearly 40% less energy and less water than standard models. Besides purchasing an Energy Star dishwasher. you can run only full loads in the dishwasher and avoid using pre-rinse and heated drying cycles to save energy costs and pollution.
Washers and Dryers
Cut your energy costs over 30% and your water usage in half with an Energy Star washing machine. While dryers are not Energy Star rated, choosing a dryer with a moisture sensor saves energy by automatically shutting off when clothing is dry.
Appliances have a long way to go to become truly environmentally friendly, but until they get there, let’s lessen the environmental impact by choosing appliances wisely and moderating energy usage.