Are Energy Efficient (Green) Appliances Worth It?
In recent times, energy efficiency is one of those phrases often used. With the way different companies love to buttress this on series of their product labels or even slip it into their advertising box, you might think it’s little more than an industry buzzword that will go into oblivion in due time. But it’s not and has come to stay.
WHAT IS ENERGY EFFICIENCY?
This can be summarized as the practice of minimizing energy use without bearing a loss in quality. Alternatively, an appliance can earn the “energy-efficient” label/tag if it uses less energy than its established competitors and does a good a job as they do at delivering the same service. To better understand this, imagine yourself transporting a huge washing machine. First, you can decide just to lift it and walk it to its destination, but you will be exhausted by the time complete the task. On the other hand, you could drop the washing machine in a wheelbarrow and move it smoothly and effortlessly. Now the result is the same—the washing machine is taken to its destination. What differs here is that the latter method involves less energy, and you won’t be exhausted and gasping for your breath when all the task has been completed.
Energy efficiency performances put that same rule to work with your various utilities. You tend to get equal value and dependability as a more established item, but it uses less energy which is an advantage.
Note: There is a significant difference between energy-efficient and energy-conservation, so don’t be confused. Energy conservation is more about decreasing energy use by any possible means, irrespective of product quality. It consists of changes in behavior, like deliberately modifying the thermostat, consuming less water for dishes, or even ensuring that all lights around the house that are not being used are turned off. Energy efficiency doesn’t mostly involve any of that extra or additional stuff.
DO YOU THINK IT’S NECESSARY TO PRIORITIZE ENERGY EFFICIENT PRODUCTS FOR HOMES?
Majority of us can’t imagine themselves purchasing a major appliance when the current one is still perfectly running without any problem. But when you ponder how your present-day eco friendly fridge dishwasher, or washing machine is impacting your life and the world as a whole, you may start having a different opinion. For example, can you think of your present-day appliance as that toxic colleague in the office who has persisted in pulling down your life in ways that you sense subconsciously cannot quite define? When you purchase a more efficient appliance, not as a luxury or an indulgence, but as a need and exceedingly practical solution to an urgent matter, everything will begin to fall in place and also will make more sense.
Let’s illustrate this further with an example. In the corner of your apartment, let’s say you have an incandescent light bulb, and in another corner, you have a modern LED light bulb. They both produce the same amount of light, and they will both bulbs will fit in perfectly. The thing that sets both apart is their upfront costs at face value. The LED bulb will be a bit more expensive than the incandescent bulb. You will be spending more for the equivalent amount of light as the inexpensive, more traditional bulb.
At this point, things seem to get interesting, though: that led bulb only needs 10 watts of electricity to function, as opposed to the 60 watts needed by the incandescent bulb. So generally, the LED bulb is using less power. This simply means your monthly electric bill for the same amount of light will be about six times less because of the LED bulb. The savings don’t end there, either. The LED bulb is going likely to last 25 times longer than the incandescent bulb. So if you compare the cost of 1 LED light to 25 regular bulbs and you begin to see why it makes sense.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENERGY-EFFICIENT (GREEN) APPLIANCES.
Yeas, it may look blameless, but that refrigerator, old dishwasher, or other primary appliance in your house might just be your worst foe. On the surface, yes it does its job. All you need is to push the control knob, and in return, it delivers clean clothes, the dishwasher also gives you fresh dishes, and the refrigerator keeps your food cold. With this, the human to machine contract has been perfectly fulfilled or maybe not.
Now to the nitty-gritty of the matter. Whenever the bill arrives at the end of the month, the inflated bill is the wasteful internal operations which you tend not to see. These sap water and electricity which you pay dearly for. When you ponder over these, can you say that the machine did its best? Of course not.
For energy efficient appliances, after the initial cost of purchase, everything that follows are benefits which include the following:
Personal Energy Savings
All primary Energy Star appliances have been proven to use less energy when compared to others that are not. This is one of the cornerstones of the energy efficient appliance industry. Because of the advancement of technology evident in these appliances, it will help slow your electric meter to a crawl. Similarly, simply by virtue of the updated parts like fans, and compressors, the new appliance can work smarter, not harder.
Another critical factor when it comes to efficient dishwashers and clothes washers is the ability to consume less water. The smart technology added by the manufacturers of these machines aids you to drastically reduce water consumption that delivers the same results with less water usage. For example, it is estimated that an energy efficient washing machine can save you up to 3,000 gallons of water yearly and yet still delivers clothes even cleaner than before.
Lower rebates than the Purchase Price
It is normal for local utilities to present rebate opportunities for those acquiring a certified machine. Washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and even light fixtures are examples of appliances that may come with offers for post-purchase rebates.
Decreases Carbon Footprint
By purchasing major appliances that are efficient with water and energy your impact on the environment is significantly reduced. From research, it has been discovered than one can reduce his/her carbon footprint by 3,600 pounds by purchasing an energy star refrigerator over five years. Recycle your fridge, too, that way you keep refrigerant and insulating foam out of landfills.
In addition to those savings, you will most likely get better results from your major appliance by upgrading it. For example, newer clothes washers can spin your wet clothing harder and faster, resulting in less water for your dryer to dry out.
SHOPPING FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES FOR YOUR HOME
Whether you are considering a new fridge, washing machine or oven, the truth is that a new appliance is a big purchase. But if you choose wisely, you will actually save money when you go for energy-efficient appliances that will eventually cut your running costs.
Stick with the right appliance size
You will do yourself a lot good if you choose an appliance that is going to fit your exact needs and not just wants. While appliances are turning out to be more energy-efficient, purchasing the wrong size could wipe out any planned savings. For example, if you buy a large refrigerator but never have a full load, you will end up wasting energy and money. A smaller A-rated refrigerator could be more cost-effective than a larger A++ model if you fail to utilize it to maximum capacity.
Another essential thing to consider is if these green kitchen appliances will have enough room to work and still fit into your house or apartment. You don’t want to make the error of purchasing a brand new eco friendly fridge and not being able to comfortably fit in through the door. Furthermore, the design of an appliance can also impact its energy use. For example; Front-load washing machines can remove water quickly from the drum, reducing drying times and increasing efficiency than when compared to less efficient top-load machines.
Likewise, fridge-freezers amassed on top of each other tend to be more efficient when compared with side-by-side designs. It’s also important to decide whether distinct features like water/ice dispensers actually merit the extra cost.
Get to understand the energy label.
To make informed decisions when looking for green kitchen appliances, you must consider the energy label. You will always see it on a variety of appliances such as washing machines, fridges/freezers, dishwashers, and even eco friendly ovens. The energy label will give the appliances energy rating. This is generally on a scale of G–A or G–A+++, where A+++ represents the most efficient. The energy label also helps you understand other vital information, such as estimated water usage and annual energy consumption. Once you pay keen attention and understand the energy labels, it will be clear how much money you are likely to be spending/saving before the actual purchase.
Confirm for energy-saving settings
Majority of appliances now have eco programing. These are settings put in place to adjust the water level, temperature or even the preferred time to lower water and energy consumption. Look for dryers or washing machines with automatic sensors to enable you to adjust the temperature and time so that clothes won’t be over-dried. It also helps with the right amount of water depending on your load. These settings might not impact on how clean the clothes will turn out, but they are actually important and do save you energy and money.
Advance to a smart appliance.
Lastly, by connecting over WiFi to a smart device, smart appliances make jobs faster, cheaper and more energy-efficient. On the other hand, a smart appliance will only help you save on your energy bills only when you change your habits. For example, purchasing a smart thermostat but then leaving your heating on though out the day won’t do much.
Smart fridges can send you notifications if the door is left open or even let you see inside without opening the door. Also, smart dishwashers are more customizable depending on your needs. Some can delay and allow you adjust the start or drying times subject on the load. Furthermore, some can detect leaks and immediately switch themselves off to avoid further damage.
If you are unable to meet up with the substantial upfront cost of these smart appliances, alternatively you can consider smart plugs. They are way cheaper and also allows you to make any electrical device smart. This is achieved by simply plugging it into the adapter. A smart hub is not required to use them because a good number of them can be regulated independently. You can then remotely switch plugs on/off with a tap of a button or even set them to automatically come on at certain times.
In conclusion, major energy efficient products for homes represent major investment, so it’s important for them to be energy-efficient. Energy Star qualified appliances are even more energy efficient so go for them!