Going Green – Energy Efficient Appliances and How To Use Them

March 15th, 2011

Environment, Energy & Water Saving

Energy efficient appliances are rapidly gaining popularity as the world today experiences an energy revolution. More and more people are coming to realise that saving energy is important to saving our environment. We all need to play our roles in saving energy. By saving energy, we can definitely take a positive step towards fighting climate change and preserving non-renewable sources of energy. This all in turn saves you money by using less energy over a longer period of time.

By using “green” or energy efficient appliances, you use 75% to 80% less electricity and reduce your dependence on foreign oil, coal, and petroleum. Environmental advocates say that just by changing over old and inefficient appliances, we can address the concerns of global warming right in our own homes. It’s empowering to know that something so simple can make such a large impact. Greenhouse gases are also minimised with newer appliance models. A side benefit of changing your old appliances is – Reduced Electricity Bills! That’s a green issue we can all get behind.

Even before your old machine breaks, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking ahead and planning for an upgrade in your appliances. The thought of shopping for new kitchen appliances can feel overwhelming. However, it’s a great opportunity to upgrade to more energy-efficient models—ones that use fewer resources and fit in with an eco-conscious lifestyle.

If you’re building a new home, you obviously need new energy efficient appliances. But if your old appliances are still working, it’s harder to know when to upgrade. Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Home Safe Home: Creating a Healthy Home Environment by Reducing Exposure to Toxic Household Products, says to not bother trying to refurbish old appliances; just replace them one by one as your budget allows.

However, make sure that you dispose of your old appliances properly. Avoid putting appliances out to the trash – especially refrigerators. All deliveries made with Appliances Online trucks offer the option of having your old appliance removed as well. We use the global leader in metals and electronics recycling, Sims Metal Recycling, to process these old appliances.

Also, how you use your new energy efficient appliance will obviously affect its energy efficiency. When using your new oven, always use the right-size burner for the job. Don’t waste heat by using a burner that’s too big. Putting a 6″ pan on an 8″ burner will waste more than 40 percent of the heat. Also, by using glass or ceramic dishes in the oven, that allows you to turn the temperature down by 25 degrees. The food cooks just as fast, but the insulating properties of the glass or ceramic hold the heat better. And, tempting as it is, don’t keep opening the oven door to peek; you lose a significant amount of heat every time you do this. Instead, take a peek by using the light, if your oven has one. It doesn’t affect cooking time – just don’t leave it on the whole time.

Dan Chiras, author of The Natural House, says to unplug when you can. Anything that’s plugged in draws power, even when not in use – a phenomenon Chiras refers to as our “phantom electricity load.” Appliances like mixers, toasters and microwaves, but also things like cell phone and iPod chargers, are all offenders. Plugging a majority of your appliances into power surge protector strips gives you a one-button turn off without constantly pulling the plug in and out of the wall. When Chiras first moved to his home, he had 135 watts per day in phantom load. He saved $110 per year just by unplugging. “It’s small, but it adds up,” he says.

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