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Buying Guide - Understanding Energy Guide Labels PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 28 June 2010 11:06
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Appliances account for about 20 percent of the energy consumption of your home with refrigerators and clothes dryers at the top of the list of consumption.

When shopping for appliances, you can think of two price tags. The first covers the purchase price - consider it a deposit. The second price tag is the cost of operating the device during its lifetime. You must pay this price tag every month with your electricity bill for the next 10-20 years, depending on the device. Refrigerators an average of 20 years, air conditioners and dishwashers, about 10 years each; washers, about 14 years.

What is the real cost
Each unit has two price tags: purchase price and operating costs.

When you have to buy a new camera, visit the ENERGY STAR ®. ENERGY STAR ® appliances have been identified by the U.S. Agency for Environmental Protection and DOE as being the most energy efficient products in their class. They are generally above the minimum standards of the federal government a substantial amount. The appliance shopping guide lists some major household appliances bearing the ENERGY STAR ® and provides useful information on what to look for when buying a camera.

Barchart To help you determine if an appliance is energy efficient, the federal government requires most appliances to display bright yellow label and black EnergyGuide. Although these labels will not tell you which device is most effective, they will tell you the annual energy consumption and operating costs for each device so you can compare yourself.

How much electricity do appliances?

This chart shows how energy an appliance uses typical year and its corresponding cost based on national averages. For example, a refrigerator uses almost five times more electricity usage of the television medium.


Most of the energy consumed by a dishwasher is for heating water. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water based on the annual cost of gas and electric water heating. When it is time to buy a new unit, visit the ENERGY STAR ®.

Dishwasher Tips

* Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer's recommendations on water temperature, many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the heater at a lower temperature.
* Scrape, do not rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or pre-washing is generally recommended only in cases of burned or dried on food.
* Make sure your dishwasher is full but not overloaded.
* Do not use the hold "flushing" on your machine for a few dirty dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water every time you use it.
* Let your dishes air dry, if you do not have an automatic switch to dry, turn the control knob after the final rinse and the proposal of the open door a bit to dry dishes faster.
* Remember that dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand, about 6 gallons less per load; dishwashers also use water hotter than you would use if you were washing dishes by hand, in order that they can do a better job of killing germs.


Refrigerators with freezers on top are more efficient than those with freezers on the side. The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators will tell you How much electricity in kilowatt hours (kWh) a particular model uses in one year. The higher the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost to operate. In addition to the EnergyGuide label, do not forget to consult the ENERGY STAR ®. A new refrigerator, ENERGY STAR ® will save between $ 35 and $ 70 per year compared to models designed 15 years ago. This adds between $ 525 and $ 1.050 during the average lifespan of 15 years of unity.

Refrigerator / Freezer Energy Tips

* Look for a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been designed to prevent accumulation of moisture out of the cabinet, without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an "anti-sweat" heater. Models with a heater anti-sweat consume 5 to 10 percent more energy than models without this feature.
* Do not leave your fridge or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37 ° to 40 ° F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5 ° F for the freezer. If you have a freezer for long term storage, it must be kept at 0 ° F.
* To check refrigerator temperature, place a thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To check the freezer temperature, place a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
* Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers, increases in ice accumulation amount of energy needed to keep the engine running. Do not let freezers build up more than a quarter of an inch.
* Make sure the joints are watertight door of the refrigerator. Test them by closing the door on a sheet of paper or a dollar bill when it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
* Fluids and food wrap blanket stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
* Move your refrigerator away from the wall and the emptiness of its condenser coils once a year unless you have a no-clean condenser model. Your refrigerator works for shorter periods with clean coils.

Other cooking tips for energy saving

* Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water, place the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even if it 'never reaches the faucet.
* If you need to buy a gas oven or range, look for one with an automatic gearbox, electric ignition system. An electric ignition saves gas - typically 41 per cent in the oven and 53 per cent on top burners - because a pilot does not burn continuously.
* In gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate the gas burns ineffective and an adjustment may be necessary.
* Keep the range top burners and reflectors clean; they reflect heat better, and you'll save energy.
* Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water, it is faster and consumes less energy.
* Match the size of the pan to the heating element.
* If you cook with electricity, turn off the stove burners a few minutes before the cooking time. The heating element will stay hot long enough to finish cooking without using more electricity. The same principle applies to oven cooking.
* Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster oven uses third-half as much energy as a full-size oven.
* Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens whenever it is appropriate to do so. They can save energy by significantly reducing cooking time.

When you cook a pot of rice for one hour, you use 1000 watts of electricity! One thousand watts equals one kilowatt-hour, or 1 kWh. Your utility bill usually shows what you are charged for the kilowatt hours you use. The average residential rate is 8.3 cents per kWh. A typical American household consumes about 10,000 kWh per year, an average cost of $ 830 per year.


Approximately 80-85 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing: use less water and use cold water. Except if you're dealing with oily stains, hot water or cold water setting of your machine in general do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy consumption of a load by half.

When shopping for a new washing machine, look for a front-loading (horizontal axis) machine. This machine may cost more to buy but uses about one third the energy and less water than a top-loading machine. With a front loader, you can also save on drying clothes because they remove more water from clothes during the spin cycle. Look for the ENERGY STAR ®.

When you shop for new clothes dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically stops the machine when the clothes are dry. Not only does this save energy, it will save wear on your clothes caused by over-drying. Keep in mind that gas dryers are less expensive to operate than electric dryers. The cost of drying a typical load of laundry in an electric dryer is 30-40 cents against 15-25 cents in a gas dryer.

Laundry Tips

* Wash your clothes with cold water using detergent with cold water whenever possible.
* Clean and dry a full load. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate adjustment of water levels.
* Dry towels and heavier and cotton in a separate load lighter clothes.
* Do not over dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
* Clean the lint filter of the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
* Use the cool down cycle to allow clothes to finish drying with residual heat in the dryer.

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