Consumer Electronics & Appliance News, Reviews & Information.

Apr 12

Top ten efficient appliances you (might) already own

Happy Earth Day!

Today, all across the world, we’re focusing on energy, waste management and recycling, as well as the myriad of other issues we create on this planet with our daily lives.

In that spirit, we’ve created a top ten list of some of our most efficient appliances.

When it comes to going green, it’s not just about what you can replace. Yes, you want to update your appliances to as green as you can, but as responsible inhabitants of Planet Earth, let’s find ways to make what you have more efficient. So let’s look at a real world list, and consider how we can make our whole home a better place to be.

And, Earth day is the perfect day to put these suggestions in to action.

Down in the basement

#1 Though we don’t sell them, a furnace is the #1 user of energy in the home. To keep yours running at peak efficiency, replace your filters once a month, and bring in a certified heating specialist to do maintenance on a timely basis. A clean appliance is an efficient appliance, and an efficient furnace will save you money.

#2 Your dryer uses the second most energy, and is well worth making more efficient. Make sure you clean the lint trap before every load, to allow maximum air flow. If your dryer has a moisture sensor, make sure you’re using it to keep drying times to a minimum.

Always find the Energy Star logo

#3 While we’re in the laundry room, let’s look at the washing machine. While most washers are not themselves energy hogs, hot water heaters are. So to save energy with the washer, use the lowest water temperature that is correct for the clothing. This saves a tremendous amount of energy.

Let’s look in the kitchen

#4 Stepping into the kitchen, let’s look at the stove. For a start, only pre-heat the oven as long as needed. The less pre-heat time, the less energy used. Also, as Becky said in her kitchen blog, choose the burner size to match the pan for more efficient heating.

#5 The refrigerator is another big energy user. So, don’t make like Harold and Kumar at the Quik-E Mart, staring, trying to decide if it’s Fritos, Cheetos, or Doritos. Know what you want when you open the door, get it, and close the door. The less the door is open, the less cold gets out. And make sure you get behind the ‘frig once a year and vacuum out the coils. It really helps the refrigerator to run cooler, and use less energy.

#6 The dishwasher is another place to save energy. Always run a full load when using the dishwasher. Also, rinse the plates, glasses etc., before loading, so you can use a shorter washing time. Unfortunately, the dishwasher is no place to skimp on hot water, but with shorter wash times, you conserve energy.

Saving with sound and picture

Don't forget, look for the yellow energy use label

#7 There are a couple of ways to save energy with a television. One, use the TV in a darker room. Pull the shades if you need to. In brighter light, the television must use more energy match the ambient light. Less light in the room means the TV needs to create less light, using less energy. And set your TV on a surge protector. Yes, it protects your TV, but remember, the TV is a vampire, meaning it is drawing energy even when it’s turned off. So turn off the energy supply at the surge protector, and, just like Buffy, no more vampire.

These Klipsch RF7 II's sound great, though that has little to do with Earth Day!!!

#8 When it comes to the stereo/ surround sound, the surge protector is also effective here as well for starving all the vampires in a stereo/surround system. And a few more energy saving tips. If you’re young, TURN IT DOWN! And if you’re old, how can you listen to that stuff any way? (OK, as a wannabe audiophile, I may not be the perfect person to talk about savings with my sound . . .)

#9 The air conditioner is a large source of energy consumption as well. Make sure the filter is clean for maximum airflow, and make sure the unit is well sealed, to prevent cool air loss. And when you store a window AC unit, be careful. Those thin metal wafers on the rear work best when they are not flattened, so be careful as you move and store the AC that you don’t damage the rear and lose efficiency.

#10 The rest of the house can be made more energy efficient as well. Don’t leave the lights on in a room. Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. Close the door behind you, to keep either the warm or the cool air in. You know, the stuff you learned in kindergarden.

It ain’t easy being . . . y’know

My wife is always telling me to “Be a good earthling”. Which always makes me think of Marvin the Martian. Which always makes me laugh. Which makes loading up the recycling or cleaning out the back of the fridge a little more tolerable.

And on Earth Day 2012, it only makes sense to make an Earth day resolution to be a good earthling for the rest of the year. Vann’s promises it won’t hurt, it will only help.

Energy conservation doesn’t just happen on earth day at Vann’s, it’s a year-round endeavor. And if you’ve got some good ideas about energy savings around the house, let us know in the comments. It’ll be our Earth Day resolution to pass them on.

Why we go to all the trouble. Photo by onlynick used under Creative Commons.


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