Two costs are associated with any electrical appliance: the buying price, and the running cost in terms of energy and maintenance. Of the running costs, energy is one of the major items. Typically, the equipment can last several years before requiring a major repair.
Consumers should therefore not just look at the price tag on the item. Rather, pay attention to its energy rating and available energy saving modes.
Energy star certified equipment
Energy star certified equipment satisfies certain energy saving levels while providing an acceptable performance compared to other equipment. They usually consume between 10 and 50 percent less energy compared to the standard non-energy star equipment; all without compromising on performance.
The equipment must use less energy by a given percentage. The level varies from one application to the other. For example, an energy star certified dryer must have an energy savings of at least 20 percent.
Most modern electrical appliances offer several benefits. Ease of use and lower energy costs are essential. As such, consumers can benefit greatly by upgrading their equipment; especially with energy star appliances.
Other benefits include rebates when customers purchase energy star certified appliances from participating stores. However, these may vary from one region to the other.
Typical energy savings in energy star certified equipment
Energy star certified lighting fixtures
These certified fixtures use between 70 and 90 percent less energy to produce the same amount or better quality light. Also, they put out less heat than equivalent traditional incandescent bulbs. The new lighting fixtures have additional features that improve energy savings, performance, and convenience. This includes controls to automatically dim or turn off lights based on the level of the daylight.
Energy efficient refrigerators and freezers
Energy star certified refrigerators and freezers are at least 9 and 10 percent more efficient respectively. Other considerations that help in saving energy include selecting the adequate capacity. In addition, the refrigerator or freezer should be kept in a cool place away from heat sources such as direct sunlight or ovens.
More energy savings can be realized by using the proper settings. In addition, ensure the door is closed all the time and that seals are in place. Place the refrigerator or freezer in a spot that allows free air circulation around the fridge; especially at the back where there are cooling pipes.
Manual defrost freezer models use less energy and are therefore more efficient than the automatic defrost models. Another important factor is the design of the freezer. An upright freezer with shelves is easier to organize. However, the chest freezer may be more energy efficient since there is less cold air escaping from the door which opens from the top.
These are usually 40 percent more efficient than the standard purifiers. Other factors to consider include the room size and placement. Select a model adequate for the room; otherwise, an oversized air purifier or cleaner will end up consuming more power unnecessarily.
Energy efficient dishwashers
Energy star certified dishwashers use at least 12 percent less energy and 15 percent less water than the conventional models. However, this may vary depending on the model and other factors.
These dishwashers utilize more efficient technologies that reduce both the energy consumption and water usage. For example, the design uses soil sensors that check the amount of dirt on the dishes. An optimized cleaning cycle reduces the minimum amount of energy and water. In addition, there are more efficient water jets and a dish rack design that ensures efficient use of water and energy.
Energy Star dehumidifiers
Certified dehumidifiers use 15 percent less energy. They utilize more efficient compressors, refrigeration coils, and fans.
Energy star certified washing machines are usually 25 percent more energy efficient than their equivalent standard models. In addition, they use 40 percent less water. This results in the consumer saving water, as well as energy for both the washing machine and the water pump.
Certified dryers use at least 20 percent less energy than the standard models. The equipment utilizes more efficient technologies such as heat pumps. Moisture sensors automatically stop the drying cycle once the clothes are dry. This sensor-based drying machine is more efficient compared to thermostat or timed drying, which continues to consume energy even after clothes are dry.
Energy star certified home electronics
Televisions qualify for energy star certification when they become at least 20 percent more efficient. Some models can reach up to 40% better efficiency than traditional models, while the set-top boxes can achieve up to 45 %. However, the amount of power used depends on the size of the TV screen, display technology, and resolution.
The home theater systems that are energy star certified are 60 percent more efficient. Certified battery chargers for small household appliances such as power tools, electric shavers, and cordless gadgets use 30 percent less energy.
Identifying Energy Saving Opportunities
Customers can realize huge savings by using energy star certified appliances for home electronics and other commonly used electrical appliances. Imagine using less electricity for refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers. Consumers can realize significant savings. However, there are other factors such as size, usage and placement that influence the amount of energy savings available.
The USESI companies such as Electrical wholesalers have been promoting efficient use of energy for decades. To support this, Electrical wholesalers have a Certified Energy Auditors team that helps customers with energy saving activities.
They assist consumers with an energy audit, design suggestions, retrofits and other activities to improve energy efficiency. The energy audit team analyzes all appliances and then assists the consumer in identifying any possible upgrade opportunities.