What does it mean to be more energy efficient?
When homeowners are looking for energy efficient appliances, what they are really asking for are appliances which use less energy which can help them save on their monthly energy bill.
Energy efficient appliances benefit everyone and not just homeowners. Countries such as the U.S. and Canada all have their own Department of Energy to help find ways to make energy cheaper and more safe.
This is why Energy Star Certifications became a thing, which is placed on appliances to inform buyers that this appliance consumes less energy, reduces our carbon footprint which helps our environment, and ensures no potential fire hazard, harmful radiation or pollutants are released.
This brings us to our first tip, which is to focus on appliances that are Energy Star Certified. To your surprise not all appliances have this certification mainly because it generally can be seen as more costly than non-Energy Star Certified appliances.
But what is more important, saving more upfront or saving more in the long run while keeping your family safe from pollution and fire hazards. Eventually we will come to a point where all appliances will be Energy Star certified that you will have no option but to purchase one.
Mario Ozawa, in blog post for The Doe reports that another key is if you can’t replace your appliances, another option is to replace your current appliances parts with better ones replacing old ones that might be using more energy,
With that being said, let’s dive deep into each major appliance seen in your home and what we should understand about each to help you make a more confident decision in your next purchase, and help make your home more greener.
Before we continue, if you would like to learn more about appliance tips visit Bluemonte Appliance.
Fridges & Freezers:
Before you purchase your next refrigerator that is energy efficient, you should first understand the importance of refrigerator configuration.
The position of your freezer in your refrigerator is going to play a huge role in how much energy you can save every month. So much savings that it will help you consume 10-25% less energy according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
There are 3 main types of refrigerator configurations: top-mounted freezers, bottom-mounted freezers, and side-mounted freezers.
Each of these freezers are built with the same mechanical composition, where the compressor (the refrigerator part which generates heat) is located at the bottom back of the fridge.
The compressors job is to heat up the refrigerant so it can easily travel upwards. If the freezer is located at the bottom of the fridge, this requires more heat because it is faced with the cold temperature of a freezer. Therefore there is more heat energy required to do the same job of converting the refrigerant liquid into gas.
Now we see that the top-mounted freezer is more energy efficient than the bottom-mounted freezer, but what about freezers on the side of the fridge?
Side-mounted freezers are more energy efficient than bottom-mounted freezers simply because it doesn’t cool down the bottom compressor as much.
In summary: Top Freezer > Side Freezer > Bottom Freezer
Stoves & Cooktops
Induction / Gas / Electric Cooktops
We hear a lot of debates when it comes to gas cooktops vs. electric cooktops, but what we tend to forget about is the advantages and disadvantages of induction cooktops.
If we were to compare gas stoves to electric stoves, right away the gas stove comes as more energy efficient simply because natural gas is cheaper than electricity, and because it takes less time and energy to heat up your cooking ware. Induction cooktops directly heat up the cooking ware without it heating up its surroundings. Compare this to an electric stove that takes 3-5 minutes for it to reach a good enough temperature, an induction cooktop requires no pre-heating.
Induction cooktops heavily compete with both gas and electricity by consuming 40-60% less energy by using electromagnetism, and are much more efficient at changing between temperatures.
Microwaves vs. Toaster Ovens
Although you may find microwaves with a toaster oven feature, we will compare both of these products separately as this is most commonly seen in households.
A microwave on average uses 800-1200 watts to heat up the same meal as a toaster oven, however the toaster oven uses 1200-1400 watts on average according to Energy Star.
While microwaves use less heat, they also require less time to heat up food and are able to avoid any pre-heat.
Now keep in mind that the price of a microwave and toaster oven are not too far a part, however a toaster oven will generally consume more electricity, and a toaster oven is seen as an appliance addition, where as a microwave is a standard appliance all homes have.
A toaster oven is traditionally seen as an additional appliance used for convenience purposes, over the oven which consumes a lot more energy.
Oven Ranges vs. Toaster Oven
There is no doubt that a toaster oven is more energy efficient and more cost effective than a oven range. Oven ranges take much longer, they consume more energy and compared to toaster ovens are much larger and can take hours to get the job done.
Most times when we use the oven it’s for small meals that can be cooked in a toaster oven. The only time an oven is truly needed is for large meals which require more heat energy to get the job done.
While an oven consumes a lot more energy than most appliances, a true oven feature that drains the most energy is the self-cleaning oven feature.
The self-cleaning oven feature is a huge energy drainer, and toxic alternative to both your home and life-span of your oven.
A self-cleaning oven uses extremely high temperatures to breakdown grease, oil and food particles in your oven, and this high temperature can affect your inner appliance parts and cause air pollution that can impact your home.
If you are to use this feature be sure to use it 2-3x per year maximum. Regular use is not recommended.
Reducing energy costs is a common goal homeowners have which is why it is essential that we purchase the right products. If electricity costs are promised to increase then it is more important than ever to make a confident purchase the next time you buy an appliance.
Thank you for reading and I hope you have fun shopping!