Benefits Of Using Energy-Efficient Appliances
So, what is an Star Appliance anyway? As detailed on the EPA website: http://www.energystar.gov An Energy Star rated appliance can earn an Energy Star badge if:
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.
So at the end of the day, an Energy Star labeled appliance is one that is in the top half of the other products manufactured, that a customer would want and the cost of increased efficiency is made up for in energy savings. Hey, it’s kind of mumbo-jumbo, but home appliances use a lot of electricity and buying efficient appliances can help save energy.
So what really matters when it comes to energy efficient appliances? Buying something new that’s in the top 50% of its class isn’t exactly A quality. So learn what products can actually make a difference, and then what really matters to get the most out of your energy efficient electronics.
We have pages designated to each major category but below are a few of our favorites.
Pool pumps are energy hogs. Plain and simple. A typical monospeed pool pump running 6 hours a day can cost about $1400-$1800 dollars over the course of a year. For those of you who don’t know what all those white plastic pipes are, they route the water through two different cycles most of the time. One for filtration and cleaning and the other just to circulate the water and keep the water in the pool uniform in temperature and chemical makeup.
Now not as much energy is needed to circulate water, because the pump is not having to force water through the filter, so running a pump at full speed wastes a lot of energy. There are other versions of pool pumps that have 2 speed or are variable speed that can save tons of energy over the course of a year, if they are programed correctly. Some models show up to a 40% energy savings is possible in many cases. That is $600 a year in savings for a simple upgrade!
Water heaters are a home appliance that generally uses the most energy of any single source, other than a pool pump. There are a variety of things that affect how efficient a water heater is and they can get kind of complicated. In a gas water heater, gas fuel is burned that moves up through the exhaust throat of the water heater and moves that heat in to the water. The tank is insulated and tries to keep the water warm, but it eventually loses some of the heat and the water heater will kick back on to keep the water and the desired temperature. The efficiency of these units is based on how much of that combustion heat is transferred to the water and how well the insulation works to keep that heat in the tank.
An electric water heater transfers all the electrical energy to the water, but electricity is more expensive to use as a heating energy than is natural gas, so electric water heaters are actually more efficiency, but they also cost more… kinda confusing.
Some incredible savings and efficiency increases are possible by using solar energy to preheat the water in a water heater tank. In these systems, water is heated in a panel that is generally on the roof of a home or business. That water is then circulated down in to the tank and if needed, small amounts of electricity are used to get the water up to the desired temperatures. In Phoenix especially, these systems can cut hundreds of dollars off an energy bill.
Be sure to look at all of the appliances in this section to find the energy efficient solutions that work best for you!
Refrigerators are always hot topic items in the home appliance world so we spend a lot of time to dig into them and explore what are the key elements you should look for when buying a new one.
Televisions are all about the “cool factor” for just about everyone we know, then price is a very close second. But take into account their energy use and you’ll also see that as TV’s get cooler, their energy use is getting less.