Choosing Energy-Efficient Appliances
Is it possible to be clean and green? Absolutely. Choosing the right kitchen and laundry appliances can mean considerable savings for both your bank account and the environment. According to Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE), for example, appliances can consume as much as 14 percent of the total energy used in your home. Need more proof? Well, replacing a 1984 refrigerator with a model from 2004 onwards could save you $82 a year, for instance, according to the OEE. Plus, when we use less power, we help contribute to lower greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity production. So, find the most efficient model available using these tips.
Read The EnerGuide Tag
All refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, ranges, clothes washers, and clothes dryers sold in Canada are tested to determine their annual energy use. The results are displayed on the yellow-and-black EnerGuide label in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. When comparing different appliance models with similar features and capacity, consider the one with the lower kWh figure.
The EnerGuide label also includes a shaded bar scale to show how the model compares to low and high-rated machines, and the yearly energy consumption of the most energy-efficient model of the same type, among other things. On the Cabrio Platinum high efficiency top load washer, for instance, the shaded bar indicates this model uses less kWh per year than models that use the most energy. It also uses 75 percent less water and 79 percent less energy* (*Compared to pre-2004 traditional top load washers.)
To get energy consumption information for more than 6,500 major appliances, or to calculate the lifetime operating costs of appliances, consult Natural Resource Canada’s EnerGuide Directory.
Look For The ENERGY STAR Symbol
Just how much more efficient are ENERGY STAR qualified products? They must be 10 to 50 percent more efficient than standard products, as well as adhere to rigorous technical specifications that are constantly being updated. For example, ENERGY STAR qualified standard and compact dishwashers now feature not just reduced energy consumption, but lower water use, as well. Case in point: the KitchenAid® Superba EQ Series dishwasher uses less water and energy while achieving great performance and the lowest levels of sound.
Some product categories, like dryers and ranges, don’t qualify for the ENERGY STAR rating, but offer energy saving features that you should look for. The Maytag® freestanding electric range with EvenAir™ True Convection cooking, that cooks up to 30 percent faster than a conventional oven. Another example: the Whirlpool Gold® Resource Saver™ double oven freestanding electric range combines a Schott Ceran® cooktop, SteamClean option and Energy Save mode, making this the most energy-efficient freestanding range ever. Whirlpool Gold dishwashers are the industry’s most energy efficient dishwashers.** Meanwhile, the Whirlpool Duet dryer comes with the Industry Exclusive Eco Boost cycle that saves up to 40 percent dryer energy when paired with a Duet washer.
Whirlpool Canada — which supplies KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana and Jenn-Air brand appliances — won the 2012 ENERGY STAR Manufacturer of the Year Award for its role in the industry growth in ENERGY STAR qualified appliance shipments. Best of all, using ENERGY STAR qualified appliances could reduce your appliance energy use by 30 percent in a year (based on average household energy consumption in 2004).
Maintain Your Appliance
Once you’ve purchased an ENERGY STAR qualified appliance, take care of it to maximize its performance. The 5.0 cu. ft. Maytag Bravos top load high efficiency washer, which uses 215 kWh less energy per year than models that use the most energy, boasts better efficiency if loads are full but not overloaded, for instance.
Other maintenance tips include cleaning your refrigerator’s condenser coils every three months or so, to allow air to circulate. Otherwise, when dust and pet hair builds up, the motor will work harder and use more electricity. Clean the filter of your dishwasher regularly. Don’t forget to clean out your clothes dryer’s lint screen, too. A full screen can cause your dryer to use up to 30 percent more energy, according to the OEE. Read our “How To Maintain Appliances” article for even more tips.
**Based on NRCan average published annual energy usage of Whirlpool Resource Efficient models (Models WDT* & WDF*) versus usage of leading brand dishwashers.
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