Thursday, January 2, 2014

Choose energy-efficient appliances

Sustainable living and design have been becoming more popular, with the many pressing concerns regarding global warming and climate change. With economic issues such as soaring power bills and fluctuating fuel rates, as well as the apparent changes in weather patterns all over the world, the need for responsible living and design is becoming very real. 

Generally, the most energy-efficient models are the upright models, with the freezer on top and refrigerator at the bottom.

Contribute positive changes in the world by starting with your own home. Energy efficiency in the home is one of the best ways you can help in your own way. There are many brands, models and specs for every appliance in the market today; however, some are more energy-efficient than others. 

Refrigerator and freezer

Generally, the most energy-efficient models are the upright models, with the freezer on top and refrigerator at the bottom. If you’re buying a new refrigerator, make sure to get the right size for your available space and storage needs. 

Getting a model that is too large will only incur more energy expenses than necessary. On the other hand, a model that is too small might not provide you enough storage, and may only lead to you getting two refrigerators instead of one. 

Your allotted space for your new fridge should also include space for ventilation on top and the sides of the appliance. Having room for your refrigerator to “breathe,” will help make it run more smoothly. 

Television

As a general rule for television’s power consumption, the bigger the screen size, the more energy it consumes. The type of technology of the TV will also affect energy usage. There are three widely used TV technology types, the most energy efficient of which is the OLED (organic light-emitting diode), followed by LCD (liquid crystal display) and plasma. 

Washing machine

Most of the energy used in washing machines is dedicated to heating water, so it is best to opt for a model with a cold water cycle. Wash with cold water whenever you can, as this will save you a lot of energy. 

Front-loaders are also generally more energy-efficient than top-loaders. With a front-loader, you may find yourself using up to sixty percent less water and energy overall. Other great energy-saving features to look out for are economy cycling, auto load sensing and high spin speeds. 

Clothes dryer

Clothes dryers consume a lot of energy and also emit greenhouse gases. Each load in the dryer can release up to three kilograms of gases in the air. Skip the clothes dryer if you can, and opt for hanging your clothes out to dry instead. 

If having a clothes dryer is an absolute must though, look for gas-fired or heat pump models. These models will cost more, but will save you money in energy usage over the long run. Moisture sensors, timers and perma press cycles are also great additional features for clothes dryers. - Aislinn Kee


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