In the modern world there is an electrical appliance for every need that we have. As our hunger for easy living increases we are buying more appliances to give us the comfort that we want. Energy efficient appliances are now freely available on the market. However when shopping for energy efficient appliances be sure to select wisely.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Did you know that the average home creates more pollution than the average car? Electricity we use to run all our appliances and devices comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels. The consumption of fossil fuels results in air pollution. Air pollution results in global warming which changes the climate of our planet. In order to save energy it is important to purchase energy efficient appliances.
Purchasing Energy Efficient Appliances
You can do your part for the environment by purchasing or replacing your appliances that are energy efficient appliances.
Although appliances may look innocuous from the outside their inefficient wasteful use of electricity may prove harmful to the environment. When selecting your devices and appliances consider the following:
Ensure that the appliance has enough space. It is important that the appliance has enough space for ventilation to be energy efficient.
Weigh the purchase price with the advertised energy efficiency. Your initial capital outlay may be offset by the appliance’s power efficiency over the long term.
There are incentive schemes and cash back deals, low-interest loans to encourage the purchase of energy efficient devices and appliances. For example:
If you are purchasing for a company that works from a home office you can claim a tax deduction. That is to say in respect of energy efficiency savings under Section 12L of the South African Income Tax ACT.
Energy Star Energy Efficient Appliances
We’ve all see the logo on our appliances. Perhaps you’ve seen it on your monitor or microwave. Energy Star is the symbol for energy efficiency. It’s a label created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The aim is to help consumers save money and minimize air pollution. Buying energy efficient appliances make a big difference.
Look for the Energy Star logo or the uniquely South Africa Energy Efficiency labelling. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has introduced a product labelling standard for electrical and electronic appliances. This includes: dishwashers, stoves, refrigerator, freezers, washing machines, tumble-dryers and televisions.
These labels assist the consumer in making a decision about whether the appliances meet their standards of energy efficiency. As a result the power is shifted to the consumer as he or she becomes more informed. An appliance receives the Energy Star rating if it is significantly more energy efficient than the minimum government standards. This is determined by standard testing procedures. To learn more about the Energy Star Programme go to www.energystar.gov.us
Refrigerators in the old days used so much electricity they dimmed the lights and had engines that sounded like Dakotas. Although much improved, the refrigerator is still the biggest consumer of energy in the house, among the appliances. Buying the correct one is important. Check those labels above. make sure the appliance you need is an energy efficient appliance.
But what can you do with the one you have to make it more efficient? Here are a few tips:
Keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 4°C. The freezer temperature should be 18°C. Check temperatures periodically. Place a thermometer in a jar in the refrigerator overnight and adjust accordingly.
Fill the freezer with plastic containers of water when not or under using it. This will keep the refrigerator from using energy to freeze this space.
Always defrost your freezer. Note that automatic defrosting freezes are less efficient than manual ones. Get cracking as soon as you see a 1cm build up of ice.
Wait until food has cooled down before putting in the refrigerator.
Stoves: only preheat when baking. Use the hot plate which is the nearest in size to the pan you plan to use. Energy is wasted if the hotplate is larger than the pan.
Washer Dryer: As much as 90% of the energy used by your washing machine is used to heat the water. For most washing applications, warm wash and cold rinse are sufficient. The rinse temperature doesn’t affect the quality of the cleaning. Clean the dryer lint screen after each use. Lint build up greatly reduces energy efficiency. Overloading the dryer lengthens drying time. Clothes dry in 40 minutes to one hour.
Other Devices: Ensure the computer’s monitor is switched off when not in use. As much as 60% of the computer’s energy goes to the monitor. Even on standby, devices like faxes and printers use 30 watts of electricity. If you are purchasing a computer consider switching to a laptop which uses 50% less power. Purchasing a printer? Choose an inkjet over a laser which uses more power.
Airconditioners even if they are energy star rated home owners should first be sure to insulate the roof with roof insulation. One this is done assess if you are still in need of the appliance. Ther are a number of insulation types that are SANS compliant and will give you great benefits. The Isotherm a dust free allergy free insulation is very popular and a big money saver.
Finally ‘Phantom Power’:
Unplugging DVD players, TVs and Audio players . Many devices around your home use up ‘phantom power’ by sitting idle with power going to the pilot light and maintaining other standby functions.
You have more control over the use of power in your home than you may think. Whether it’s how you purchase an appliance or how you use or maintain it, think energy efficiency